DURANT — Clifton William (C.W.) Mangrum, age 69, passed away on January 11, 2013, in his home in Durant, Okla., after a six year battle with Parkinson's disease and Lewy Body Dementia. He was born on August 13, 1943, in Del Rio, Texas, to Harvest Argent "Gent" Mangrum and Amelia Louise "Doolie" McBryde Mangrum.
He married Faye Gothard, January 1, 1976, in Lone Grove, Okla. They have three children: Aprill Jo Raines (Durant), Leslie Faith Mangrum (Salina, Kan.) and Paul Dane Gothard Mangrum (Norman, Okla). They also have two sons-in-law: William David Raines (Durant) and Philip Scott Lee (Salina, Kan.); and three grandchildren, Braden Alexander, Lydia Monet and Sophie Jo Raines (Durant).
For anyone who knew C.W., you know that his family was the most important part of his life and he was dedicated to them completely. He was involved in his children's school and church activities. He attended every speech and music program at Durant High School for 25 years. He served as a sponsor for many student trips including debate tournaments at Boston and band trips to Washington D.C. He was a member of the Pit Crew moving equipment on and off the football field for the Durant band's halftime show. He was there for every part of his children's lives. As his illness robbed him of many things including his words and voice, it did not rob him of his love and awareness of his family. He knew them to his last breath.
C.W. came to Healdton, Oklahoma, before he started the first grade and graduated from there in 1961. He graduated from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 1966 with his BA in speech, the University of Central Oklahoma in 1974 with M. Ed. in speech and University of North Texas in 1993 with his Ph.D. in college teaching. While attending SE as a student, C.W. debated for the Forensics Team. After his graduation, he became the debate coach for Charles Page High School in Sands Springs, Oklahoma, from 1966-1970. He coached debate at SE from 1970-1977. He took four teams from SE to the National Debate Tournaments.
C.W. also began teaching speech classes at SE in 1970 and taught in the Communication Department until 2000. In 1974, C.W. became chair of the Speech and Theatre Department at SE and also stayed in this position until 2000. During his teaching career, he taught and influenced thousands of students. He taught the speech methods class to future teachers and served as teaching supervisor for speech majors. He also taught classes for all elementary education majors. He was especially proud to conduct debate workshops for the Durant Middle School.
In 1998-1999, C.W. became Interim Dean of the School of Arts and Letters at SE while remaining chair and professor in the Communication and Theatre Department. He was the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences from 1999 to 2008. During his career as an administrator, he mentored and impacted the lives of hundreds of faculty and colleagues. He retired July 31, 2008, after a career that spanned 45 years at Southeastern as student, debate coach, faculty and administrator. He received the Distinguished Former Faculty Award in 2009. The Regional University System of Oklahoma bestowed upon him the honorary title of "Dean Emeritus, School of Arts and Sciences," and "Professor of Communication and Theatre Emeritus." In this role, he continued being a part of the Tom Houston Debate Reception at Homecoming and supporting students of Southeastern as well as enjoying fellow retirees.
C.W. was a member of the Fairview Baptist Church for many years and taught Sunday school to young adults and youth. He was a church bus driver and picked up kids all over Durant and brought them to church. Later, he was a member and deacon of the First Baptist Church in Durant. There, he again taught Sunday school to young adults and children. He especially enjoyed teaching the four year olds. He also hosted youth church groups in his home such as Disciple Now Weekend. He was a member and President of the Kiwanis Club in Durant.
More recently, C.W. was a resident at the Sterling House Assisted Living in Durant from July 2011 until November 2012. There he once again was a tremendous influence on his new group of friends. The residents and their families all have stories to tell about how much they enjoyed him and his speeches in the dining hall.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and sisters, Barbara Mangrum and Janette Ellis.
Survivors include his wife; children; grandchildren; and sister, Linda Jackson, Lubbock, Texas.
Family Hour will be at 7 p.m. January 18, 2013, at the Visual and Performing Arts Center (VPAC) at Southeastern. Memorial service is 2 p.m. January 19, 2013, at the First Baptist Church, Durant, Okla. It will be officiated by the Rev. Kris Steele, the Rev. Mark Christian and Pastor James Robinson. A private burial will be at Cedarlawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Sherman, Texas, following the memorial service. Honorary pallbearers are Dell McLain, Shannon McCraw, Riley Risso Coker, Kirk Ashton, Rodger Biles, Gary Varner and Rodney Heggy.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to the "Drs. C.W. and Faye Mangrum Scholarship" at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. Make out your check to The Southeastern Foundation and be sure to write "Mangrum Scholarship" on the check or an enclosed note. In return, you will receive an acknowledgement letter for tax purposes. Your contribution should be mailed to: The Southeastern Foundation, Attn: Cindy Ellis, 1405 N. Fourth, PMB 4187, Durant, OK 74701.
Family and friends may send online condolences and view tributes at www.holmescoffeymurray.com.
Services are under the direction of Holmes-Coffey-Murray Funeral Home, Durant, Oklahoma.