Marian Swarthout Middleton
Marian Swarthout Middleton, 94, died at home on January 9, 2019 in Aliso Viejo, California of congestive heart failure. She and her husband Robert (Bob), who pre-deceased her, were long-time residents of Tulare and Pismo Beach, California where they were active in church and community activities. She was devoted to her friends and family, and will be remembered for her kindness, love of life, intelligence and sense of humor. She is survived by her family: Marcia Middleton of Baltimore, Maryland, and Barbara and Jerry Fitch, grandchildren Zack and Libby Fitch, of Newport Coast, California, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the daughter of Donald and Ann Swarthout, Marian grew up a fun-loving child and excelling in academics. She attended Albion College and completed her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration at the University of Michigan in 1946. After graduation, she moved to Los Angeles seeking adventure. Marian took a secretarial job at MGM Studios where she was thrilled to eat at the studio commissary surrounded by movie stars.
Marian met Bob Middleton while playing badminton in an adult recreation league at Beverly Hills High School. They married in 1951 and in 1957 moved to Tulare, Bob’s hometown, where they had bought a farm. There they raised cotton, wheat, barley and other crops and two daughters, Marcia and Barbara, who attended Hanford schools. In 1980, Marian and Bob retired to Pismo Beach and traveled extensively in Europe and the United States. After Bob died in 2005, Marian continued to live in their Pismo Beach home overlooking the Pacific Ocean until 2013 when she moved to Aliso Viejo.
Throughout her life, Marian pursued a busy schedule of civic and philanthropic activities. She was a member of the American Association of University Women, Tulare County Cotton Wives, P.E.O. and the First United Methodist Churches of Tulare and Arroyo Grande. As her daughters were growing up, she volunteered with PTA and 4-H activities and served on the Delta View school board. Marian was an English tutor with the San Luis Obispo Literacy Council for over 20 years. In her final years, she remained an avid Bridge player, keeping up with politics and watching Cal and Michigan football.
A memorial service was held at The Covington in Aliso Viejo on February 10, 2019. In accordance with her wishes, her ashes were scattered in the Pacific Ocean.