Bill Mangum, 80, passed away April 25, 2019, in Lehi, Utah. He was born March 19, 1939 in Hurricane, Utah, to Franklin Clarence and Wanda Duncan Mangum. He married Beverly Dot Wilcox on Feb 20, 1956, in Las Vegas, New Mexico, later solemnized in the St. George Utah LDS Temple, June 10, 1964. They had three sons: Faron, Dale and Layne.
His younger years were hard. He and his brothers had to fight to survive, by stealing chickens and raiding orchards. Bill didn’t attend any amount of school. He went to school for one day, and all he did was look out the window. He wanted to be outdoors and couldn’t stand to sit in a chair all day. He learned reading, writing and math from his brothers, by sitting at the table while they were doing their homework.
He left home at 13 years old, by walking 60 miles to Beryl Junction to jump on a freight train to Oregon, where his older brothers were working at a construction site. The first day on the job, a foreman asked if he could drive a Yuke (a giant dump truck). He lied and said yes. He got in and taught himself how to drive it. He drove those trucks at many construction sites over the years in Madras Oregon, Orofino, Idaho, Montana, Ely and Boulder Nevada, and Page, Arizona. While in Page, Bill was accused of stealing a tool and was run out of town. He was embarrassed and vowed to always have honesty and integrity in his life. He made his way back to St. George with his family to do work on the Virgin River Gorge.
In the mid 60s, Bill decided he wanted to own his own equipment and run his own company. He bought a backhoe and a dump truck from Richard Rogers, who had been letting him use the equipment and who generously sold it to him for cheap. While still running that business, he decided to become a real estate broker. He purchased Great Western Real Estate Company. Even though he had virtually no schooling, he passed the real estate broker’s test and worked in real estate for many years. He was rarely in the office, though, as he used the job to be outdoors where he loved to be. He was very successful at it. If that wasn’t enough to keep him busy, he built a tank on the back of a truck, and started a septic tank pumping service, much to the chagrin of his sons, who were constantly teased about the name Mangum on the sides of the septic trucks. When the boys complained about the teasing, and the smell in the backyard, he always said, “It smells like money to me!” He ran those and other trucking businesses until his retirement.
When he did take a day off, he was in the mountains hunting, fishing and camping. The only days he officially took off work was during the deer hunt. It was a wild and crazy family event. All his brothers and their families and many friends would be together at deer camp. It was his favorite time of year. He always looked forward to it.
Bill loved his family. One big way he showed his love was by providing for his family, because he didn’t have that as a child. He loved his boys, and especially his grandkids. He gave his grandkids his undivided attention whenever they were with him. He was fun grandpa. He loved to make people laugh. His nieces and nephews also loved their “Uncle Billy.” He will be missed by so many.
He was a devout member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was not active when he was younger, but when the family returned to St. George, he and Beverly were reactivated in their ward by Kay Wilkinson. They then took their boys to the St. George Temple to be sealed as a family. Bill held many callings in the church throughout the years, including a counselor in the bishopric and Elder’s Quorum president. He loved to serve anywhere he could. He and Beverly drove equipment to girls’ camp every year, and the scout trailer is stored in his yard to this day.
He was a very generous man throughout his life. He was constantly doing something to help people. If someone needed something, he was doing his best to get it for them. He always stopped to help strangers on the side of the road. If relatives were down on their luck and needed a place to stay, they could stay at his home until they got on their feet. He would hunt deer for the widows in his neighborhood and clean and process the meat to give to them. He taught his children the value of hard work, while also putting money away for his children to inherit, to make their lives easier when he was gone.
Bill was preceded in death by his beloved Beverly, his wife of 56 years; and his parents. Also, his sons: Faron Hugh and Dale Clarence; and his siblings: Carlos, Dean, Faye, Nora, Dallas, Paul and Mike. He is survived by his son, Layne B. (Janet Wilson); 12 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and his brothers: Bruce and Bud.
Services will be held in St. George with a viewing Friday, May 10 at Metcalf Mortuary, 288 W. St. George Boulevard, from 6-8 p.m. Funeral services will be at the LDS Church at 166 S. Main on Saturday, May 11, at 11 a.m. with a viewing from 9-10:30 a.m. Internment follows at the St. George City Cemetery, 750 E. Tabernacle Street. A luncheon will follow the graveside services at the church.