Tuesday, June 23, 2009 • Middletons named Grand Marshals of the Lassen County Fair

Publisher’s note: This story originally appeared in the Tuesday, June 23, 2009, edition of the Lassen County Times.

Long-time community members Bob and Virginia Middleton have been chosen as this year’s Grand Marshals and will have a prominent place in the annual Lassen County Fair Parade.

The parade will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 18 on Main Street.

Both moved to the area in the 1930s, and  after moving several times, they permanently settled in Lassen County in 1961.

Traditionally, the Grand Marshals are people who have helped make Lassen County great and go above and beyond the call of duty. The Middletons have worked in local education,  with Bob starting several programs at both Lassen High School and Lassen Community College.       They are also actively involved in church activities from teaching to singing in the choir.

The Middletons, who married in 1953, raised their four children, Mike, John, James and Lisa, in Lassen County where they attended and graduated from the local schools.

Bob taught geography and history at Lassen High School from 1961-1970. He also got a counseling credential and was the head guidance counselor. While at LHS, he along with the biology teacher Bill Matthews took the students to the first Patrick’s Point field trip.

Bob also started the history club and helped sponsor the California Scholastic Federation taking students to the University California, Berkeley and Stanford campuses.

In 1970 he went to work at Lassen Community College, where he was a counselor, the first financial aid officer and eventually the dean of students. He taught cultural studies for 10 years and then served as the dean of instruction and vice president.

Virginia worked in the reading lab and in special education at LHS and has volunteered at the thrift shop and Crossroads Ministries.

Both have also served on the grand jury and Bob has helped out with the local sports teams.

“We helped out wherever we were needed,” Virginia said.

While Bob was working at LCC he also started the Micronesian Exchange Program.

During Bob’s years at the college, Virginia said they had many students stay with them — in addition to the Micronesians, some were from China, Taiwan, Japan and one from Pakistan, who still keeps in contact with them.

After he retired from LCC in 1989, the lecture hall on campus was named Middleton Hall.

Bob also ran and was elected to the to the Susanville City Council where he served from 1990 to 1994. He, along with  Marshal Leve,  also campaigned and helped raise money to save the local library after the county shut it down and the city took over.

The Middletons also taught at a Christian school in Ethiopia where their son, Mike, and his family were serving as missionaries.

Bob was born in Portola, but his family moved to the Janesville area during Bob’s elementary years.  His father was a pastor and built the log cabin church in Janesville, which currently houses  the Southern Baptist Church of Janesville, but Middleton said it used to be an Assembly of God church.

Eventually his family moved to Woodland, Calif., where Bob finished school. At the age of 17, Bob enlisted in the Merchant Marines and took one cruise in the Pacific.

When he returned, Bob was drafted into the United States Navy and in 1950 he was drafted into the Army and was sent to Korea where he spent 18 months during the Korean War.

Virginia moved to the Susanville area in 1938. After graduating high school, she worked for an accountant before she met Bob.

Upon returning from Korea, Bob visited his mother who returned to Lassen County.

He went to church and was sitting in the back when he said a beautiful girl with long dark hair walked in carrying a trumpet.

Bob said he decided to stay and he and Virginia were married within a year.

Bob attended Lassen Community College and then attended California State University, Chico where he majored in social science and then went onto earn his Master’s degree. Eventually, Bob earned his doctorate in social science.

After teaching for two years in Lancaster, Calif., Bob was offered a position at LHS.

Virginia said, “We have had a good life in Lassen County.”

She said it has been good to them and  thinks they have served it well

All of the Middletons’ children became teachers and Bob said their nine grandchildren are their pride.

Bob said, “The Lord really has blessed us beyond any measure you can put out there.”