Mark Steven Middleton, 55, of Eureka Springs/Holiday Island area, departed his earthly home and body unexpectedly on March 27, to live with his Heavenly Father for eternity.
He was born to Billy Lee and Gretta Douglas Middleton Hundley in Olathe, Kan., Jan. 8, 1957. After his biological father passed away in a car accident when he was just an infant, his mother married R. J. Hundley, whom Mark loved as his father.
Following in R.J.'s footsteps, Mark joined the Navy in 1975 and was a proud US Navy veteran, serving on nuclear submarines. He served as a prison guard at the Kansas State Penitentiary after he was honorably discharged.
Mark began a distinguished career in law enforcement, attending the KS State Police Academy and other educational institutions, getting a degree in law enforcement. He became a policeman in Spring Hill, Kan., where he also taught D.A.R.E. classes to elementary children. He also worked as a deputy for Miami County Sheriff's Department on special task force assignments. He was a member of the Kansas City Metro Squad.
Mark loved motorcycles and flew airplanes until he became physically disabled from a bacterial infection that nearly claimed his life in 1991. In recent years, he owned a car club, Kustom Rods of the Ozarks (KROZ). His hobbies grew into a love for custom and antique cars, and he was a member of three car clubs: Kustom Kemps of America, where he proudly served as national chaplain; Police Car Owners of America, and Carroll County Cruisers. He was quite active in car shows on a national level, as well as locally either hosting car shows, judging shows, or just showing his pride and joy, So Fine, a radically custom purple and white 1953 Ford.
Mark belonged to the local Masonic Lodge in Eureka Springs, American Legion and VFW in Kansas. He attended Faith Christian Family Church, where he was baptized.
Mark's parents preceded him in death, and he is survived by his loving wife, Rebecca, of the home. Other survivors include two sons and a daughter: Michael Straley, (grandson Stephen Michael and granddaughter Gracelin Pearl) of Berryville; son, Ryan Straley, (wife Ashlea and grandsons Stock and Steel) of Olathe, Kan.; and daughter, Amy, Goodall of Grandview, Ark. Also surviving are brother, Michael, (wife Henrietta of Salinas, Calif.), and two sisters, Ruth Sperry of Overland Park, Kan. and Linda Clapham of Olathe, Kan., and many nieces and nephews and scores of friends across the country.
A celebration of Mark's life will be held at 10 a.m. on Good Friday, April 6, at Nelson's Chapel in Eureka Springs. He will be cremated and there will be no visitation or burial service.
Friends are encouraged to share their memories of Mark at that time, and in lieu of flowers, family suggests donations to a fund in his name at Cornerstone Bank in Eureka Springs.