Lou Middleton died on July 16, 2018, after living enthusiastically for nearly all of her 96 years. She was the devoted wife of Stewart Chapman “Chappy” Middleton, who died in 2014.
Lou was born on May 10, 1922, in Llano, Texas. She was the only child of John Regnor Cone, a drug store owner, and Hester (Wilson) Cone, a piano teacher. Early in Lou’s life, the family moved to Baytown, Texas.
In 1943, Lou graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, where she was class Secretary and a “Favorite.” She met Chappy there, and they married on December 4, 1943. During their marriage, Chappy wrote several poems to Lou, and shortly before he died, Lou told him, “We were happy whatever we did.”
While Chappy was a Navy officer in World War II, Lou taught fourth grade in Baytown public schools. After the war, they lived briefly in Dallas and McKinney, Texas. Lou taught for a year in Grand Prairie and substituted in Dallas.
They then moved to Waco, where Chappy joined the purchasing department of General Tire in 1950. Lou was again a substitute teacher for a while.
Chappy’s career took the couple to Mayfield, KY, in 1960. After he retired, they moved in 1979 to Waxahachie, where Chappy had grown up. In 2006, they moved to a senior-living facility in Dallas, and in 2011 to one in Tyler.
Both Lou and Chappy were active in the Presbyterian Church. They sang in choirs, and in 1987 Lou was selected to be an Elder (member of the governing body) of Waxahachie’s Central Presbyterian Church.
Both were also dedicated Trinity University alumni. For 21 years, they hosted an annual reunion of alumni who had attended the school while it was in Waxahachie, its location during Lou’s and Chappy’s initial three years as students.
Lou was an outgoing and witty person. When asked at the senior-living facility in Dallas how many children she had, her quick reply was “none yet.” Even while suffering from Alzheimer’s in her last years, she generally remained cheerful. She and Chappy made many friends in all the places they lived.
Lou learned to play the piano well from her mother, who attended the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. After Chappy retired, he and Lou played duets, with Chappy on baritone horn.
They were also a travel duo, enjoying many trips throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Lou long recalled visits to UK pubs and exhorting Chappy to “stay left” while driving. While living in Kentucky, they also thoroughly explored Lake Kentucky on a boat they owned.
Survivors include sister-in-law Margaret Middleton of Austin, nephew Kent Middleton and wife Karol of Austin, niece Barbara Farnum and husband Bill of Tyler, and niece Jane Fuchs and husband Fred of Austin. Lou and Chappy were always supportive of their younger relatives.
Lou’s relatives are grateful for the excellent care provided to her by Azalea Trails in Tyler.
A memorial service celebrating Lou’s life will be held at 1:00 on Friday, July 20, at Central Presbyterian Church, 402 N. College St., Waxahachie, TX 75165.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Central Presbyterian Church; Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Services (5920 W. William Cannon Dr., Bldg. 3, Suite 100, Austin, TX 78749); or a charity of your choice.