Mrs. Kate Drye Mangum, 87-year-resident of New Salem and widow of the late Russell Mangum, went home to be with her mother, father, brothers and sisters Tuesday night. She was a lifelong member of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in New Salem.
She was the daughter of Benton and Lunora Drye, mother of Saundra M. Little of New Salem and Larry Mangum of Jacksonville, Florida (wife Christy), and grandmother of Brad Little, Tess Mangum Ocana, Tyra Little Harmon, Jesse Mangum, and Caitlin Mangum. She also was blessed with two great-grandchildren: Yago and Nicolas Ocana.
Mrs. Mangum was born on the banks of Richardson Creek, near New Salem, in 1926, and lived within a quarter mile of her birthplace until the day of her death. She and her 7 brothers and sisters were all taught by their father to play stringed instruments, and at age 9, she and her older siblings were offered an opportunity to join a traveling road show. At their father's request, they chose to come back home and remain loyal to their land and family, although her brother Homer became a founding member of the well-known band called the "Briarhoppers," a rendition of which survives to this very day.
Her love of music lives on through the many students she taught, including her son Larry, her grandson Brad, and country music star Randy Travis.
Miss Kate, on behalf of all of us who have been blessed by your unconditional love and sweetness, we celebrate with you and we send you our love.
Funeral services will be held Friday at 2 pm at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church followed by the burial in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends following the graveside service in the church’s fellowship building.