Maude Middleton was born in Forsyth County, North Carolina, in 1921 to tobacco farmers. She graduated from Walkertown High School in 1938 and enrolled in Woman’s College (now The University of North Carolina at Greensboro). In 1942, she graduated from the college with a degree in home economics. She went on to complete an internship in dietetics at Medical College of Virginia, and then worked at Johnston-Willis Hospital in Richmond.
Middleton enlisted in the army in February of 1945. She was called for duty in June of that year and completed basic training at Camp Rucker, Alabama. After a brief stint as a dietitian at Lawson General Hospital in Atlanta, she was stationed at Camp Butner, North Carolina. She was later transferred to Moore General Hospital, Swannanoa, North Carolina. She was discharged from the army at Valley Forge General Hospital in the spring of 1947.
After her service, Middleton returned to Johnston-Willis Hospital where she became the head dietitian. After a year, she retired from dietetics and returned home. Almost a year later, she began work in Charlotte with the 4-H clubs of the Agricultural Extension Service. She worked with the clubs for fifteen years. In 1964, she moved to Greensboro and worked with the Extension Homemaker Clubs. She retired in 1977 at the age of fifty-five.