Doug Middleton

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Douglas John Middleton was born August 14, 1934 to Howard and Hilda Ann (Brunton) in Arran Township. He was the youngest of six children; Norma (1924); Lenore (1926); William “Bill” (1928); Doris (1930); Tom (1932) and Doug. He began attending school in Arkwright before the Middleton family soon moved to Tara while he was in grade four. Doug finished his education at Tara Continuation School followed by Chesley District High School. 

Upon graduation, the CNR (Canadian National Railroad) was looking to recruit new employees and so on May 7, 1951 Doug began his twenty year career with them. He became an operator/agent in Weston (Toronto) followed by stops in Listowel, Ripley, Durham, Hanover and finally Walkerton. Doug loved his time working for the Railway and fondly remembered the many challenges that came along with his daily routines. Scheduling and overseeing the constant movement of freight, livestock and of course passengers kept his days full. He recalled many falls when 100 cars (50 – 60 animals in each car) of calves from the West would come in, while at the same time shipping grain back out in similar amounts. Doug left the Railway when services to Grey/Bruce were being reduced, as he had no desire to go back to the city to continue.

In 1954, Doug married Edith Gladys Ruthven. Together they had two children, David (1955) and Joan (1958). In the years that followed, Doug bought Fred Hagedorn’s farm on the outskirts of Chesley and began raising sheep. He also spent five years at Douglas Point where he was regularly exposed to radiation. In fact, most months he got the last several days of the month off as he had reached his radiation limit. Crazy! Doug soon founded Middleton's Men’s & Ladies Wear in Chesley, operating it for a few years.

Jim Stinson soon approached Doug and suggested that he sell insurance. Doug went away to Guelph to be educated in his new field of employment and became an agent for Co-operators. In 1977, Doug received his broker’s license. Starting from nothing in 1979, Doug built his business, Middleton’s Insurance. His son David joined him in 1980 and their Wiarton office opened in 1982. After 12 years in the business, he sold his insurance business to his son Dave and retired at the age of 57.

When not working for pay, Doug worked tirelessly as a member of the Chesley Kinsmen Club, served on town council for two terms, reeve for two terms, one term as mayor and a county council member as well. Doug also served as a board member for the Chesley Hospital and a union rep for the railroad for four years with 130 – 140 union members under him. If all of this wasn’t enough, Doug also enjoyed coaching baseball with his good friend Grant Gallinger, for many years. 

Doug’s passion for coaching hockey came from his own love of playing the game. In fact, it was as a defenceman that he lost his first tooth. A much safer game he loved to play was cards, especially in Chesley with his friends. He often referred to them as the crazy “buggers.”

Doug married Audrey Porter on Thursday, January 23, 1992 and together they built a home in Wiarton. It was the same year Doug retired, and the couple quickly jumped in their car, heading to Bradenton, Florida for their honeymoon.

Sugarcreek Country Club in Bradenton, was their home away from home. From 1989 – 2007 Doug and Audrey spent every February & March there, often visiting with Doug’s two brothers who also resided in the park. When it came to politics, the Middletons sided with the Democrats, but often had to hold back their views as the park was made up of 90% Republicans… :)

When not hard at work, Doug or "Red" as he was referred to by many of his close friends loved a good game of cards. Frank's Garage was often the location for countless Poker matches. He also enjoyed a good game of Cribbage or Solo. Pool was another game Doug had a passion for. In his youth, Doug's second home was definitely the Allenford pool hall, were he perfected his game. In recent years, the Toronto Blue Jays provided Doug with much entertainment. To say that he was an avid "Jays" fan would be an understatement! Curling and hockey were also known as favourites on Doug's television.

Doug also loved his cars. It wasn't uncommon for him to upgrade his vehicle every two years. He started out with GM’s but over the years enjoyed several Chryslers and Fords as well. Doug enjoyed the autumn months with all of its colours. In fact, yellow was his favourite, and on more than one occasion he could be found picking up some yellow begonias, to take home for Audrey.

Doug worked hard throughout his life and instilled his strong work ethic in many of those around him. He was always serious when it came to business and taught his children from a young age that if you said you were going to do it, you better do it! Another life lesson came when he decided to finance his first car, a 1948 Chevy. Apparently the math did not add up and therefore learned early on that if you don't have the money, don't buy it. Apparently, he had a soft, tender heart and was very family oriented. He also enjoyed to tease a bit, particularly his nieces and nephews. He was never "late" for anything, always arriving early and prepared. His sincere, practical and reliable ways will live on in his children and grandchildren for years to come.

In recent years, Audrey and Doug relocated to Owen Sound and then Hanover to be closer to family and friends. In 2016, he was diagnosed with cancer and his health soon began to decline. He lived out his final months on his own terms, passing away at Chapman House, Owen Sound, surrounded by his family on Friday, September 28, 2018 in his 85th year.

Beloved husband of Audrey (Porter). Loving father of David (Heather) of Chesley, Joan (Peter) McCannel of Burgoyne and step-father of Marilyn (Gary) Sachs of Hamilton. Cherished grandfather of Kara (Mark), Brynn (Jason), Caiden (Leah), Rebekah (Steve), Dan (Sheena), Courtney (Bill), Kellin (Larissa) and step-grandfather of Krista (Matt) and Shannon (Roy). Doug will be lovingly remembered by his fourteen great-grandchildren, sister-in-law Ada Middleton and brother-in-law Lloyd Dealy. He will be sadly missed by his many nieces, nephews, neighbours and good friends. Doug was predeceased by his first wife Edith, sisters Norma Love, Lenore Eby, Doris Dealy, brothers Tom and Bill and his parents Howard and Hilda (Brunton) Middleton

Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Wednesday evening from 7 - 9 p.m. and again on Thursday from 10:30 a.m. until the time of the funeral service at 11:30 a.m. Interment in Hillcrest Cemetery, Tara.

Memorial donations to Canadian Blood Services, Chesley Hospital Foundation or Chesley Minor Ball would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

Send to friend
Nancy & Ken Heppenstall
October 7, 2018
Audrey and family: so sorry to hear Of Doug’s passing. We have so many good memories of being together with Marie Eddie and ourselves.
We are now settled in B.C.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time
James Woods
October 5, 2018
David and Joan and families our deepest sympathy to you and your families at this time.Tooter,Karen & Cody.
Rhonda & Bill Abra
October 5, 2018
Our sincere sympathy to your family.
Ben & Danyele Rabidoux
October 5, 2018
Thinking of you all at this sad time.
Connie Vercillo
October 5, 2018
Dear Kara and family,
Our deepest condolences on the passing of your grandfather. Sounds like he had a full life and was a wonderful man. He will always be in your heart as no doubt he will be in your mom's. Hugs to all.
Elizabeth and Peter
October 5, 2018
Dear Joan , Pete and family
Our sincere condolences for the passing of your father and grandfather.
Thinking of you at this time.
with love Elizabeth and Peter
Steve and Jess Musehl
October 5, 2018
Condolences to the Middleton family on the passing of Doug. We have the family in our thoughts.
Shelley Hendry
October 4, 2018
My sincere condolences to all of you. I looked after your former neighbour Wilma Farrow for years and I would see both Doug and Audrey.
Jim and Mary Coffey
October 4, 2018
Please accept our sincere condolences on Doug's passing. We met often at the various grocery stores in Hanover and more than once shared a few chuckles.
Sincerely, Jim and Mary
Keith & Willa Faust
October 4, 2018
To Joan, Pete and family
Please accept our sincere sympathy on the passing of your father and grandfather.
October 4, 2018
Dear Audrey, David, Joan & Families. So sad to hear of Uncle Doug’s passing. My deepest condolences. I’ll always remember his hearty laugh & mischevious sense of humour. He was a colourful & lovely man.
Alan and Fran Gordon
October 3, 2018
To Audrey and the Middleton family, Deepest sympathy to all.He will be missed by all who knew him . ....
Lynn & Steve Thede & family
October 3, 2018
Dear Joan & family;
Very sorry for your loss. Thinking of the whole family. Sorry I’m out of the country right now at the time of your dad’s celebration of life. Will be thinking of you! ????
Larry and Madeleine Middleton
October 3, 2018
Uncle Doug was a good and caring man. With his passing all of the Middleton siblings are now passed but we will keep them all in our hearts.

Our deepest condolences to Audrey, David, Joan, Marilyn and their families.
Marion & Don McAllister
October 2, 2018
Joan, Peter & family. Our deepest sympathy on the loss of your father and grandfather. Our sincere condolences to the rest of the family. Marion & Don.
Shirley. Alpaugh
October 1, 2018
Please accept my sincere condolences.
Wayne Bumstead
October 1, 2018
To Audrey and the entire Middleton
My heartfelt condolences on the passing of a wonderful man.
Being a former next door neighbor in Owen Sound gave me the chance to get to know he and Audrey. I was blessed.
Ron and Marlene Calhoun
October 1, 2018
Audrey and the entire Family.
Sincere sympathy in the loss, of
Doug. He will be greatly missed.
Treasure the memories.
Grant & Mary (Oswald) Swartz
October 1, 2018
To Audrey and the entire Middleton Family - Our most sincere condolences on the passing of Doug.
Blain and Priscilla Carruthers
October 1, 2018
We send our deepest condolences to you all on the passing of Doug. He was very special to our family and will be missed. We will cherish our happy memories of good times together. Love Priscilla, Blain and family.
Mary Ruth and Jim Merriam
October 1, 2018
Condolences on the death of Doug We will miss our little visits whenever our paths crossed
Elmer Ward & Elaine Brears
October 1, 2018
To the Middleton Family,
We would like to extend our sincere condolences in the passing of Doug. May the wonderful memories help you through this difficult time.
Lynn Eby
October 1, 2018
Audrey, Joan, David and to all your families: My deepest sympathy in the passing of Uncle Doug. May your fond memories of him sustain you all in his passing with each new day, Lynn and Family
Karen and Jim Siegrist
September 30, 2018
To Audrey and family our sincere sympathy. Not many days since we talked Audrey. So sorry. Karen and JIm
Dorothy Mulligan
September 30, 2018
Dennis and I send our deepest sympathy to you and your family on Doug’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are for you and all family members at this sad time.
Carol Golem
September 30, 2018
Please accept my sincere condolences on the passing of Doug Middleton a husband, father,
grandfather and greatgrandfather!
Bill & Cathy (Jackman) Esplen
September 30, 2018
Joan, Peter & Family: Our most sincere condolences to all of you in the passing of your father/grandfather. Cherish your many memories you have of him to help you through this time of sorrow.
Sincerely Bill & Cathy Esplen
Carol M. Jarvis
September 29, 2018
Condolences to the Middleton family on the passing of Doug.

Submit A Condolence

Fill in the form below to send a public condolence.

To send a private condolence to the family please click here


accommodations in the chesley area

Our Testimonials

Nothing comes to my mind as to what you could have done to improve our experience. My whole family was so pleased, as was I, with every detail. All of the details were so well presented and the full staff were so helpful. In terms of pricing, we received what we asked for ten-fold. Every aspect of Jim’s funeral was so well presented and we would certainly pass this on to others. 

Karen Siegrist

There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

Reta Steward

It felt as if you had met and knew John! All of us agreed that John would have approved. Many friends commented on how lovely the service was and how it suited John.

Cathie Stauffer

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.


Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

“Staff were professional and friendly.”

“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

“Nathan, you present yourself very well. Facilities were all that could be expected.”

“I would recommend your funeral home to everyone. Nathan’s ability to put you at ease, with a caring attitude is super and very respectful!”

Carol Golem

“We were all very impressed.”

Roberta Godwin

“Dear Nathan - You did a good job. Thank-you for all your help and all the information you obtained for me."

Gloria Albright

“Your sense of humour was a plus! You and your staff clearly have a calling for the work that you do. We all felt that we were in good hands throughout the entire process…. Nathan, thank you for everything. You made things easy for us, as we felt like we were working on Dad’s arrangements with family. We gave Dad a great send off and thank you and your staff for being a part of it.”

Deborah Hart

“Letters cancelling Gov’t services was a great help and was very much appreciated.”

William & Loraine Patterson

“You did everything really well. All needs were met and then some.… We received positive comments on the stationary. Great keep sakes. The book and slideshow were beautiful.”

Elaine King

“We had no concerns- worries, nothing, but confidence in the staff – we knew exactly how everything would happen and when - it was so nice not to have to concern ourselves with anything.”

Rebecca Becker

"I don't think there is anything more you or your staff could do."

Bernice Frook

"No improvement needed. We were pleased with everything."

Susan Taylor

“I would not have changed anything. Thanks very much – Nathan and staff.”

“New renovations are very inviting and warm. All your new cards and books are very heart warming and keepsakes.”

Valerie Long

"Staff were outstanding. Overall, it was great. Everything was perfect."

Susan Laver

“Staff is exceptional!... All needs were met.”

“Service was beyond expectations… Already recommended to various people.”

Steve Thomson

“Could not have been more useful – very satisfied! I would highly recommend Rhody Family. Thank you ever so much for your professionalism and expertise.”

Dave Hillier

“Honestly, you and your staff made this time in my life the best it could be and were extremely helpful, respectful, professional and accommodating to my needs and my family’s needs, especially providing me with a space to feed [my child] if needed. Thank you for everything”

Olivia Strucke

“Everything was perfect; it’s always nice to have lots of options.”

Kevin Dailey

“Thank you for all your empathy, compassion and professionalism. Our family… is very grateful that we chose Rhody Family Funeral Home to look after our loved one.”

Siobhan Bell

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

Back to Top