Earl R. Middelthon, 82, of Venice, FL formerly of Copley, OH passed away January 3, 2021. Earl was born in Brooklyn, NY on June 15, 1938 to Erling W. and Gudrun A. Middelthon.
Earl attended Andrew Jackson High School where he was the captain of the swim team and president of several student organizations. Earl graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. At URI he was a member of Army ROTC and Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. In his senior year, he met his “frosh lovely” Barbara Maser, who he married in June 1961 in Amberg, Germany.
Earl proudly served as a First Lieutenant in the US Army Corp of Engineers in Germany. Upon his return to the US, Barb and Earl moved to Akron, OH to start their life together. Earl worked at Babcock and Wilcox in Barberton, OH. He earned a Master of Business Administration at the University of Akron. He worked in industrial advertising for several years before joining Chalfant Manufacturing in Cleveland, OH. Earl worked for Chalfant for 25 years as the National Sales and Engineering Manager. He served on several industry boards and was chairman of NEMA. He traveled extensively throughout his career making friends and colleagues across the globe. In the days before cell phones, his code to Barbara that he had arrived safely was “The eagle has landed.” He always tried to meet with family and friends when he was in their town on business.
Earl was past president of Copley Kiwanis and Key Club Advisor at Copley High School. Barb and Earl retired to Venice, FL where they have lived for almost 20 years. In Venice, Earl was chairman of the Sawgrass ponds committee and was active at Trinity Presbyterian Church. He organized numerous golf social outings at Waterford Golf Club.
Earl was one of the good guys. He was a smart and gentle man who loved his family, his country, and his Norwegian heritage. He loved golf, tennis, traveling, fishing, skiing, and eating seafood. He was especially skilled at eating crab and lobster. His family made many memories during vacations each summer to the Outer Banks, NC and each winter skiing in Upstate New York. Earl loved football, especially cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes and was a recent convert to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was a WWII history buff. Barb and Earl made the most of retirement traveling back to Germany for their 30th wedding anniversary, to Norway to visit family, and on several cruises with friends. His most meaningful legacy is the way he chronicled his marriage, his family, and his career in over 100 photo albums.
Earl is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Barbara Maser Middelthon, children Krista (Rick) Kriegel, Erik (Kelly) Middelthon, and Tracey (Ken) Aukerman. He is the beloved Bestefar/B-Far (“grandfather” in Norwegian) to Paul and Allison Kriegel, Nick and Megan Middelthon and Kathryn and Hanna Aukerman.
Service info: Interment at the Sarasota National Cemetery will be at a later date due to the pandemic.
The Eagle has made his final landing.