Gerald “Jerry” Earl Mangum was born on June 15th, 1936 to LeRoy and Lydia Mangum in Ely, Nevada. He had three brothers and three sisters. He was smack-dab in the middle.
Jerry attended East Ely Elementary School and White Pine High School, where he excelled in football and track. The newspaper ran an article in Elko, where the headline said, “ELKO BEATS MANGUM.” He scored all of White Pine’s points in that game. I think there was another article ran around that time where it was almost the opposite but said, “MANGUM BEATS LINCOLN.” He had another achievement, this one with track. He had one of the longest state records that was just beat a few years ago. He ran the 100-yard dash in 9.9 seconds. This record was beaten by a Lincoln boy.
On graduation day in 1954, he married Colleen Davis, and with this union brought three daughters – Kim, Julie and Melanie. They later divorced but remained friends.
A few years later he danced his way, literally, into Rozanne Viator’s life, and the rest can be said is history. I’m not kidding on dancing into her life. Rozanne was sitting in a booth at the Knotty Pine and he saw her, went to the booth, grabbed her hand and said, “let’s dance.” They got married on July 4th, 1968. A few years later their first and only son “Burt” was born. A year and a day after Burt’s arrival came the final child “Dawn” to be born to the Jerry Mangum Clan. Jerry and Rozanne just celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary.
Jerry was blessed with a big family. He had 13 grandkids, 16 great grandkids and one great-great grand kid. He always said he was blessed with the best family, best kids, etc. There wasn’t a day that went by that he didn’t talk fondly about his family. When he talked about his family, he always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. It didn’t matter which family member was with him, he had a way of making you feel important and that you were his favorite.
During Jerry’s professional life, he worked at quite a few professions, he broke horses, exercised horses at the track, he would herd sheep up the mountain with his brother Eddie (those two were trouble makers of the best kind), he worked at the grocery store in Ely as well as his brother-in-law’s service station, he drove Yuke/Euc trucks for the copper mine in Ruth, he worked on building roads across Nevada, he worked road construction, was a foreman at Caliente Public Utilities, he later went to work at the Caliente Youth Center, where he retired in July of 1999. Jerry also had a big part time job and that was the ranch. He would cut, bail and haul hay. He would tend to the animals – horses, cows and pigs. There wasn’t a job that he didn’t know or wouldn’t learn how to do.
Jerry wasn’t really ready to retire full time, so he started installing sprinkling systems for various people. If anyone needed help with something he was a phone call away and ready and willing to help.
Jerry was known as a “Jack of all Trades, Master of none.”
Jerry was a member of the Caliente Volunteer Fire Department for 29 years and three months.
Jerry belonged to the Masonic Lodge for over 62 years.
Jerry is survived by his wife Rozanne of 54 years, five children Kim (Ron) Robinson, Julie (Allen) Campbell, Melanie (Murph) McBride, Burt (Robin) Mangum, and Dawn Mangum, 12 grandkids, 16 great-grandkids and one great-great grandkid, two sisters, two brothers and one sister-in-law and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his mother, father, brother, sister and grandson.
Online condolences can be sent to southernnevadamortuary.com