By Chris Dubuque….

It is with profound sadness that we have to inform our community of the passing of Christopher J. Middleton who passed away on September 23, 2023.

I first met Chris Middleton in the early 1980’s when both of us had just graduated from the same high school in a suburb of Seattle. I didn’t know Chris during school since he was a few years younger than I was, but we met shortly after when he bought his first Citroën; a 1965 DS19M Pallas. Ever since that first meeting, Chris and I have had an extraordinary 40-year friendship.

Since the last Citroën dealer in Seattle had shut down in the late 1970’s, there was an overwhelming need for someone to take on the challenge to help out the local Citroën owners with repairs. Chris took on the challenge after high school and started fixing cars in his dad’s garage. It was not long before he had opened a shop in the Interbay neighborhood of Seattle. Within a few short years, he was not only fixing cars, but he was performing complicated and extensive restorations. In the first few years of the shop, he had several colleagues to help him refine his welding, metalwork, and mechanical skills, but Chris went on to do nearly all of the work himself.

Chris kept his business low key; no websites, no social media presence, no signs outside the shop. Instead, he focused on cranking out repair after repair after repair.

A momentous moment in Chris’s life was when he met his future wife, Deirdre. She offered him a balance in life and he suddenly was less interested in having a beer with his car buddies and instead got more serious about family and making his time at the shop count. Soon, two kids came along. I have had the pleasure of watching them grow and they are truly exceptional. They were even willing to sit through Chris’s movie selections, often esoteric European fare, American art house cinema, or film noir classics.

Even with a thriving business going on, Chris more-or-less hand-built his modern house in North Seattle. Tall sides, butterfly roof, and hand-built cabinetry typified Chris’s other passion; architecture. Near the end, we had a chance to take a drive in my DS around Seattle to look at newly-built modern houses. He was very weak at the time, but he seemed to really enjoy the drive. And he knew the builder and architect of nearly every interesting house we found.

In the spring of this year, he started having a health issue that ultimately took his life. Until the very end, he was incredibly courageous and filled with grace. Even though he felt miserable, he made time to talk to his friends and former customers. With every phone call or visit, he made all of us feel comfortable and at ease.

I just don’t know how to describe the incredible loss his absence brings to all of us. Fortunately, Deirdre and the kids have a large community of friends and family to lean on.

Goodbye my friend.


  1. I was lucky enough to call Chris a friend and he was exactly as you describe him. Warm and down-to-earth. A positive, good-hearted person. He will be missed by all who knew him.

  2. Elegantly written Chris. Chris Middleton was an exceptional person. He was always willing to take time to help. I am very sorry that he is no longer with us.

  3. While it has been some time since I last saw Chris, the shock of his loss has been immense. He was truly the most kind person I may ever meet. He made me feel like a brother, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that experience.

  4. Chris Dubuque’s testimonial for Chris Middleton truly reflects the warm-heartedness of my “Mr. Fix-it.” As one with little mechanical skills but a love for my Goddess, Chris helped guide me through life with a deity. His kindness and gentleness is going to be missed my many others besides those in the PNW Citroen community.

  5. I was fortunate enough to know Chris though for just a short time. When we first met over my new DS he was kind and reassuring about my new mechanical adventure, taking time out from his work to explain all sorts of things DS in great detail and to bond over our shared love of Architecture. I came away from that first encounter feeling that I had a new friend. Each time I called or dropped by the shop he was always gracious with his skills and his time. Though he always had many projects to get to, whatever he was talking with me about it seemed like he had all the time in the world. If only it were so.

    Chris, I am so sorry for you, his family and all of his friends that had the pleasure of having him in their lives. The world is poorer for his passing but far richer for the impact he made.

  6. In the 1980’s I remember driving Chris well north of Seattle to check out a DS19 for sale. He bought it. It was an amazing day for Chris! Words and tears can’t explain how much I miss that guy.

  7. I was a neighbor of Chris and his family for many years and was always impressed by his friendliness, his caring interest in our neighborhood and neighbors, and his architectural and building skills, My wife, Jeanne, and I offer our sympathy and best wishes to Dierdre and their children.

  8. The loving remarks are tributes to the character of this exceptional person. I am honored to have known him and be in the sphere (sorry) of
    his influence, work and circle of friendships. Blessings and a reminder to “number our days”

  9. I was touched that Chris and Deirdre stopped by my house shortly before he died to see how I was since he hadn’t heard from me since Covid, and to let me know that my car no longer had a caretaker. Phil Swanson

  10. I knew Chris when he was a young boy.
    Im friends with his sister Sally. Even though I have not seen Chris for many years I have wonderful memories of him. This is so very, very sad.
    My heart goes out to Chris’s wife and children and to Robin, Sally, Jane and their families.

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