Cover photo for 1st Lt. Jeanette Amelia "Jan" (Nichols) Middlebrooks's Obituary
1929 Jeanette 2023

1st Lt. Jeanette Amelia "Jan" (Nichols) Middlebrooks

September 13, 1929 — April 16, 2023

Kettering, OH

MIDDLEBROOKS, 1st Lt. Jeanette Amelia, “Jan” (Nichols), age 93, of Kettering, passed away on Sunday, April 16, 2023.  She was born on September 13, 1929 in Bridgeport, CT to the late Hanford and Helen Nichols.  She grew up in Bridgeport and at her family’s farm in Colebrook, CT.  She graduated from Bassick High School in Bridgeport in 1947, and became the first in her family to attend college.  However, she initially needed the assistance of her aunt to convince her parents to allow her to attend college and later to help her sneak out of the house so she could attend The University of Pennsylvania, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology in 1951.  She received her commission and entered the US Army Medical Corps in 1952 to train to become a Physical Therapist at Brooks Army Medical Center in San Antonio.  During her training, she met her future husband, the late Lt. Col. Burton Middlebrooks, at a dance in Bandera, Texas.  After becoming a Licensed Physical Therapist, she was transferred to Letterman Army Hospital at The Presidio in San Francisco where she treated soldiers wounded in the Korean War.  While in San Francisco, Burton proposed to her at the “Top of the Mark” in the landmark Mark Hopkins hotel.  She left military service in late 1954, and continued to serve in the Army Reserves for a period of time after that.  She and Burton were married by the Burgermeister of Wiesbaden, Germany in a civil ceremony on December 29, 1954, and then again a week later in a military wedding at Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany on January 4, 1955.  She and Burton traveled extensively in Europe and then later in the Far East during Burton’s military service in the Air Force, and lived in Louisiana, Japan, Alabama, and Minnesota in the 1960’s.  They eventually settled in Kettering in 1969, where she worked at JC Penny and later at Citizen’s Federal Savings and Loan until her retirement, and afterwards volunteered at SICSA. She is survived by her children, Brad (Bambi), Art (Patty), and Pete (Lisa); grandchildren Bryan, Sarah, Carter, Hayden, and Rolando; great grandson Weston; and her loyal Golden Retriever Crush who was her constant companion over the last 8 years.  Jeanette loved the sea, and she and Burton split time between homes in Kettering and Duck, NC for many years after their retirement.  She was an excellent athlete in her youth, and was an accomplished tennis and volleyball player into her 50’s.  While in Germany she was active in training and showing German Shepherd dogs, including her highly-awarded German Shepherd “Pureil”. She certainly passed along her love of sports, animals, and the ocean to her children. She will be honored with a military funeral at the Dayton National Cemetery in June, and will be interred there alongside her late husband Burton.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to SICSA or Hospice of Dayton.

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