Mr. Norwood C. Middleton '39
Norwood "Woody" Middleton was born in a Christian home in Sumter, South Carolina and raised in Goldsboro, North Carolina. He came to Salem to attend Roanoke College and graduated in 1939 with an A.B. degree in English. In 1941 he married the former Lucille hood, a life-long member of the Salem Presbyterian Church. Together, Woody and Lucille have always put their faith into action and placed their strong love and support for each other in the service of Christ and His church.
During World War II, Woody served in the 8th U.S. Air Force and was discharged as a Captain in 1945. Upon his return to Salem, he joined the membership of Salem Presbyterian church, but a job transfer took the family to Pulaski from 1946 through 1949. Through God's providential leading, the Middleton's returned to Salem in August of 1949 and resumed their active role in the life of the church. Woody and Lucille have also been blessed by the gift of two sons, Kenneth and David.
Woody has served the congregation as a Church School Teacher and member of the choir. He was elected to the office of Deacon in 1935 and became an elder in 1954. He was a Clerk of the Session, Trustee, and chair of several Session committees. In those roles, he was consistently an advocate for the church to reach beyond itself. With passion and conviction, he encouraged everyone to seek out and meet and the needs of the Salem community and the larger world.
Woody's service to the church reached beyond the corner of Main and Market streets, too. In 1966, he was a commissioner to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.). He was a moderator for ht former Montgomery Presbytery in 1967 and served as commissioner to two Synod meetings. From 1979-1985, he was on the Board of Directors of the Presbyterian Children's Home. He was an elder commissioner to numerous Presbytery meetings.
Professionally, Woody was a widely respected reporter and later Managing Editor of the Roanoke Times. He served one term as President of the Virginia Press Association (1966-1967). In 1983, he retired from the Times World Corporation as assistant to the President. He was published in the history of Salem Presbyterian Church for Prelude to the Present and wrote Salem: A Virginia Chronicle, which was his most important piece.
Service to the community was also an important part of Woody's Christian witness. He was active in the Salem Kiwanis Club for many years and served as President of the Salem Club as well as holding several regional offices. Woody was a devoted supporter of the Boy Scouts of American and was also a member of the boards of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Salvation Army. He was president of the Roanoke Valley Bird Club and was Elected Elder Emeritus by the congregation.
Norwood C. Middleton received the Roanoke College Medal in 1993.