Eleanor Margaret Middleton died on June 23rd at her home in Tacoma.
Born in Bridgeport, CT, on March 25, 1921, to Florence McLean and Robert Schoenberger, Eleanor grew up with her mother and grandmother in New York, Washington, and Oregon. Her happiest times as a child were spent on Prince Edward Island, Canada, and as a teenager at Providence Academy in Vancouver.
Eleanor married Paul Detert in 1940 and had two children, Florence in 1941 and Les in 1945. The family lived for several years in Bandon, Oregon, before Paul and Eleanor divorced and Eleanor moved with the children to Portland, where she began her 22-year career in sales support with Pacific Northwest Bell.
Eleanor married Charles P. Middleton in July 1972 and they lived together in Alaska until his retirement in 1982, when they moved to Tacoma. He predeceased her in August 1990.
Eleanor is survived by her daughter, Florence Bucholz (Harold) of Tacoma WA, son Les Detert (Judy) of Richland WA, stepdaughter-in-law Sandy Bush of Anchorage AK, stepson Roy Middleton (Meli) of Austin TX, eighteen grandchildren, and twenty-three great-grandchildren. She was also predeceased by stepson Putter Middleton, and step-grandson Ryan Middleton.
Eleanor's family treasures memories of her as a loving wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. She was an active member of St. Patrick's parish for over 25 years, a supporter of its school, and a devoted volunteer at Bellarmine Prep, where many of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren attended high school. Eleanor was proud of her Irish heritage and enjoyed several trips to Ireland. Friends and family were often in her thoughts as illustrated by the many cards and letters she sent through the years to recognize significant events or simply say hello. Eleanor took pleasure in working in her garden, always kept a supply of cookies on hand for visiting children, and was devoted to her cats and dogs.
The family is grateful to many who helped her in her final weeks and months, especially her friends Barbara, Gordon, and Kirsten, and her caregivers, Adi and Mercedes.
Rosary will be recited on Tuesday at 7:00pm at Gaffney Funeral Home and Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Saint Patrick Church on Wednesday at 11:00am. Memorial contributions may be made to Saint Patrick School (1112 N. G Street, Tacoma WA 98403) or Bellarmine Preparatory School (2300 S. Washington, Tacoma WA 98405).
Please leave online condolences at www.GaffneyCares.com. Arrangements by Gaffney Funeral Home,