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County officials remember Middleton
John Middleton passes away Monday
John Middleton at his retirement ceremony in August. - photo by Darrell Everidge

As many of you have heard John Middleton went home to be with the Lord on Monday morning in Winston Salem, North Carolina where he and Carol recently moved. John fought a long hard battle with his health most of his adult life and did so with such dignity and grace. Our hearts are saddened at the loss of our fellow colleague and friend and we are grateful that he was such an important part of our county family for over 15 years. John touched the lives of many here in Newton County and he will be missed by all who knew him.

Memorial Service
Saturday, March 7th @ 1:00 p.m.
Visitation: Noon – 1:00 p.m.
Wheeler’s Funeral Home
11405 Brown Bridge Road
Covington, GA

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to:
American Children’s Home
3844 North Carolina 8
Lexington, North Carolina 27292

Humane Society of Newton County
P.O. Box 2536
Covington, Georgia 30015

John Middleton used to tell Newton County Commissioner Lanier Sims that he was the BOC’s “eyes in the sky” when it came to running the county’s daily affairs. Now that he’s passed, those who worked closely with Middleton feel he really is watching from above.

Middleton, Newton County’s first county manager, passed away around 7:30 a.m. Monday morning while at Wake Forest hospital.

Middleton was first hired as finance director by Chairman Davis Morgan in 2000 and promoted to administrative officer in 2001 under Chairman Aaron Varner. Then in 2012, he was appointed county manager by the Board of Commissioners. He worked for 16 different commissioners and 16 different commission chairmen.

“He was instrumental in leading Newton County in decision-making,” Chairman Keith Ellis said. “By the time he retired, he had a wealth of knowledge regarding every area of the county. John will certainly be missed by all of us.”

Commissioner J.C. Henderson recalled bonding with Middleton over time.

“John was a good man, and a very smart man, who helped lead the county for several years,” Henderson said. “John wouldn’t just tell me what I wanted to hear, but he would always tell me what I needed to know.’

According to County Clerk Jackie Smith, Middleton was an avid sportsman and loved hunting and fishing. He also loved his Jack Russells, Ramon and Teddy.

Chief among his loves, though, was his wife.

“His wife Carol was the love of his life and he was devoted to her,” Smith said. “A few months back they moved to Winston Salem so that they could be near Carol’s parents and family.”

Henderson remembers himself and his wife attending conferences with Middleton and Carol, and the foursome would always enjoy dinners and conversations together.

“He’s going to be missed,” Henderson said. “First by his wife, and by me too.”

Newton County’s flags will be flown at half-staff Monday and Tuesday in his honor and wreaths have been provided for the Historic Courthouse and the Administrative Building by Sherwood’s Florist. The county will host a memorial service at a time and date to be determined, Smith said.

“During my two years of working with John, I witnessed his value to Newton County,” Ellis said. “Mine and my family’s prayers are with his wife, Miss Carol. It is a sad day for Newton County.”