Letty Jayne Griffin Middleton
05/24/1934 - 07/03/2019
Letty Jayne Griffin Middleton, 1934-2019
Letty Jayne Griffin Middleton, 85, revered wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and loyal friend, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on July 3, 2019, following a resolute fight with Parkinson’s disease. Jayne was born May 24, 1934 in Salt Lake to Charles M. and Virginia Louise “Polly” Griffin, the youngest child and sister to two older brothers, Charlie and Paul. She was educated at Longfellow Elementary, Bryant Jr High, East High and the University of Utah, from where she graduated with an English degree in 1956 and was a proud member of the Chi Omega sorority. In 1957, she married Richard G. (Dick) Middleton, also of Salt Lake and East High and the neighborhood. Together they raised two boys and two girls and were married for 61 years.
The early years of their marriage found Dick and Jayne living in New York City, where Dick was in medical residency and where Jayne worked at the New Yorker and cared for the couple’s two oldest kids, Dick and Liz, who were born in New York. After medical and U.S. Navy stints were completed, the family moved to Salt Lake. The family lived on Michigan Ave for 4 years, during which time the family’s third child, Will, was born. In 1971 the family moved to their home on Circle Way (where Dick and Jayne both resided the rest of their lives), and in 1972 their fourth child, Amy, was born.
Jayne was a devoted, caring and loving mother. She was famously a worrier, but only in the kindest and gentlest ways. Universally known for her politeness and friendly manner, she could also be tough and fierce when it came to both protecting her family and keeping them in line. Jayne took great pride in raising her children and took great satisfaction in the accomplishments of her kids and grandkids.
The happiness of family and friends was what mattered most to Jayne. She had a wonderful ability to respect and appreciate the perspective of others, and to show care and humanity to those less fortunate than her. Her care and support for Dick during his last days was uplifting. Her kindness to all she came in contact with is her lasting legacy.
Jayne was involved in numerous charitable and philanthropic causes during her life, and in professional associations. She was also instrumental in the success of Dick’s urology career and the successful program he ran at the University of Utah. Score of doctors who went through the program commented on Jayne’s unique involvement and comforting support that she provided.
Jayne very much enjoyed travels that took her around the world, with family and particularly Dick. Here her respect and appreciation for other cultures shone through. She loved playing and watching tennis, literature, and patronizing music, theater and other artistic performances. She enjoyed having the kids and grandkids over to the family pool; when the pool was particularly well heated, it was affectionately referred to as “Grandma warm.” Her steadfastness and courage while in very ill health in the final years of her life was inspiring to watch. Until the very end, she remained humble, caring and appreciative, and attuned to what was going on- she understood and took pride in becoming a great grandmother in the last month of her life. In her final days she was the very definition of amazing grace, and we will remember and treasure that always.
Jayne is survived by three children; Liz (Randy) Jensen, Will (Michelle) Middleton and Amy Middleton; eight grandchildren: Peter (Bobby), Caitlin (David), Katherine, Madeline, Emma, Christian, Julia and George; and one great grandchild: Harper. Preceded in death by her beloved husband Dick, by her parents, her brother Charlie, and her son Richard.
The family extends its thanks and utmost gratitude to Visiting Angels of Salt Lake City and Rocky Mountain Hospice for their loving and humane caregiving which allowed Jayne to remain, with Dick, in her own home, which was of great comfort to Jayne and her family. These caregivers naturally became very fond of Jayne, and cared for her like she was a member of their own family.
A visitation will be held Tuesday July 9, 2019, from 9 to 11 AM at Larkin Mortuary Downtown, 260 East South Temple, Salt Lake. Following the visitation, at 11:30 AM, grave dedication and interment at Salt Lake City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family invites you to donate to the Richard G. Middleton MD and Jayne G. Middleton Presidential Endowed Chair at the University of Utah (801-581-3720).