William O. “Bill” Middleton, age 73 of Jacksonville, died Saturday, January 8, 2022, at Heritage Health in Jacksonville.
He was born June 18, 1948, in Santa Barbara County, CA, the son of Robert Bertell and Mary Rossi Middleton. He married Debbie Taylor and she survives.
He is also survived by three children Josh (companion Amy Cox) Middleton of Portland, OR, Noah (wife Angie) Middleton of Jacksonville, and Emily (husband Sean) Hayes of Murrayville; his beloved granddaughter Grace Middleton; two step granddaughters Blaire and Aerin Long of Jacksonville; one sister Kay (husband Jay) Proops of Florida; one brother Bobby (wife Deborah) Middleton of Missouri; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.
William graduated from Virginia High School in the class of 1966. He honorably served in the United States Navy, aboard the USS Coral Sea, during the Vietnam War. He later received his bachelor’s degree in Administrative Service from Eastern Illinois University where he also earned his master’s degree in Education. Bill worked in the insurance industry for over 40 years and spent many of those years as the owner and operator of Middleton Insurance Agency in Jacksonville. He was very active in the community and was a long-time member of Jacksonville Kiwanis Club, earning the name “Mr. Pancake”. He received many awards through his insurance business and as a community volunteer.
Bill’s big heart led him in life. He was a hard worker who was always willing to help anyone. For many years in Jacksonville, Bill served as one of Santa’s helpers. He organized and delivered groceries for those needing an extra hand and would take the children shopping for everyday items, along with a gift not only for themselves but also their parents. He befriended many community members by helping them with everyday needs. Bill spent his free time outside in his yard. He was an Illinois Master Gardener with vegetable, flower, and pond gardens. His greatest joy was spending time with his family and being a grandfather.
Cremation rites have been accorded and private family services will be held. Colwell Memorial Home in Beardstown is in charge of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials have been suggested to Jacksonville Kiwanis Club or Prairieland United Way. Condolences may be left online at www.colwellmemorialhome.com or on Facebook at Colwell Memorial Home.