Martha Middleton


Martha Whitelaw Middleton died at home at Vicar’s Landing in Ponte Vedra Beach on Sept. 18, 2017, at the age of 94.

Martha was born in Memphis, Tennessee, the first child of James and Mary Whitelaw, and was raised in the Mississippi Delta, graduating from Greenville High School. She attended Ole Miss and graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Arts in English, and worked in Washington, D.C., and later for C&S Air Lines and Delta Air Lines as a stewardess, following World War II.

Martha met her beloved husband-to-be Joe in 1949 when she was stationed in Miami. They married in 1950 and enjoyed 60 years of marriage, spending most of those cherished years raising three sons and helping to build a state-wide business from Coral Gables (Joe Middleton & Company).

Martha had a gift for raising her three sons with consistency, fun, loyalty, adventure and unconditional love. She was equally adept at entertaining clients with Joe, and she loved to travel and had a passion for family roots as a Daughter of the American Colonists and Americans of Royal Descent (Robert the Bruce). Martha was beautiful without being vain, resourceful and had a song for almost any circumstance. In their retirement years, Martha and Joe traveled the world, enjoyed entertaining at their cottage in Highlands, North Carolina, and later moved to Ponte Vedra in 1999. Duty to family permeated her life, including her sister, Mary Jane, and grandmother, Lottie Armistead.

Martha is survived by her three sons, Lane Middleton of Miami Shores, wife Nancy and granddaughters Diana (Arun) and Chelsea (Dan); Jim Middleton of Ponte Vedra and grandsons James and Christian; and Mike Middleton of Chattanooga, Tennessee, wife Vicky and grandson John, and four nieces and nephews (Bob, Len, Sara Jane and Doris). Martha was predeceased by her husband Joe, sister and parents. 

A celebration of Martha’s long life was held Sept. 22, 2017, at Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra. Inurnment was held Sept. 25 at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Miami, where she joined Joe. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Salvation Army at or the charity of their choice. 

Arrangements are by Hardage-Giddens at Oaklawn Chapel, 4801 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville,