Ocala - James Fulton Middleton, 81, died at his home early Friday morning, March 29, 2013 after a long illness.
Born in Pomona Park, Florida, starting at the age of four he began attending Sunday School at the Pilgrim Congregational Church in Pomona Park where he was so excited to learn of God and Jesus in Mrs. Reed's Beginner's class. He was a devout Christian from then on. Although a member of the Presbyterian Church of Palatka in later years, he retained this same enthusiasm of being a Christian which Mrs. Reed engendered during those early years.
Mr. Middleton attended Pomona Elementary school and junior high school in Crescent City. His family moved to Palatka in 1944 where he graduated from Mellon High School in 1949. He then enrolled in the University of Florida and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1954. While at the University he was also a member of the Kappa Alpha Order Fraternity. Following his graduation he began working in managerial positions in family businesses including a wholesale petroleum products dealership, various land developments, a real estate brokerage office and a shopping center.
In 1964 he moved to Jacksonville and joined the Atlantic National Bank where he was eventually elected Trust Real Estate Officer.
In 1975, after leaving the Atlantic Bank, he lived in Palatka and Ocala again managing family businesses until the sale of the last property in 2006.
Mr. Middleton was formerly a member of the Seminole Club of Jacksonville, Ye Mystic Revelers, The Ponte Vedra Club, B. P.O.E., Kiwanis Club, and the Sports Car Club of America under whose sanction he raced sports cars at many major southern tracks including Daytona, Charlotte, Road Atlanta, Palm Beach International Raceway and Roebling Road.
He also was a member of Battery A 1st Battalion, 265th AD Artillery Regiment, 48th Armored Division, of the Florida National Guard from 1948 to 1960. He attained the rank of sergeant. He always looked forward with pleasure to attend the annual 265th Regiment Oldtimers Reunion to visit with old comrades and to share memories.
Mr. Middleton was preceded in death by his daughter, Jill Middleton Wheeler.
His survivors include wife Ann Middleton, Ocala, Florida; son, Mark Fulton Middleton, St. Augustine, Florida; daughters, Jan Dauth and Mary Jo Middleton both of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; step sons, Eric (Jacqueline) Toney, Homosassa, Florida; step son Shane (Lisa) Gilbert, Ormond Beach, Florida; step daughter, Parris (Paul) Straub, Ocala, Florida; brothers, Clyde Downing Middleton, Jr., Palatka, Florida, Harlow Clester (Michell) Middleton, Eustis, Florida; sister Barbara Elaine Middleton Harris, Clearwater, Florida; five grandchildren, seven step grandchildren and one great step granddaughter.
The family will welcome friends and family at the Pilgrim Congregational Church, 111 West Main Street, Pomona Park, Florida, from 1:00 p.m. to the start of the funeral service at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, April 1, 2013 with Reverend Jim Blasiole, officiating. Burial will follow in the Middleton Family plot in Eden Cemetery, Crescent City, Florida
Floral tributes are gratefully accepted or one may make contributions to Odyssey Hospice, 1320 S.E. 25th Loop, Suite 101, Ocala, Florida 34471.
Arrangements are under the careful care of Clayton Frank & Biggs Funeral Home.

Published in Ocala Star-Banner from Mar. 31 to Apr. 1, 2013