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Mayo Clinic exec remembered as compassionate leader

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D.C. Mangum is pictured at a Mayo Clinic event in 2014. Mangum died unexpectedly earlier this week.
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A Mayo Clinic executive who mentored and counseled many in Rochester died from a sudden illness this week.

D.C. Mangum Jr. was the program director of Mayo Clinic's Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Administrative Fellowship Program. He was discovered in his home after he failed to show up for work Monday.

Dr. Sharonne Hayes, Mayo Clinic's director of diversity, remembers him as a caring and private man who helped many people during his time at Mayo Clinic.

"Many people have told me he is the reason they are at Mayo Clinic, or that he helped them get through something very difficult," she said. "People looked up to him as a leader and a very caring person."

He was a long time board member of the local Diversity Council as well as serving on the board of the Rochester Art Center.

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Mangum, who started his career at Mayo Clinic in 2003, came to Minnesota from his home state of Arkansas. While he had no relatives here, he was active his "faith family" at Rochester Community Baptist Church. He was member of the church's men's ministry/Bible study as well as helping coordinate a health outreach ministry to address disparities in the African-American community.

"D.C. was very unassuming. He would always step up to serve and contribute, regardless if that was known by others or not," said Pastor Don Barlow, who had a lengthy conversation with Mangum on Friday.

Hayes said that Mangum was very thoughtful and insightful, and he "often changed the conversation" with his thoughts.

"He wasn't a man of many words. But when he would speak up, he had insights that often would make us think about things in a different way," she said. "It was not because he was African-American. It was not because he was a Christian. It was because a deep thinker and a very good friend. That's why he was such an excellent mentor."

The Rochester Community Baptist Church is hosting a service from 4 to 5 p.m. Friday to celebrate his life. Some of Mangum's family members are expected to be there, and some friends will speak about him, according to Barlow.

The pastor noted that it might seem unusual to some that Mangum was so quiet and private, but he said that selflessness was part of what made him so effective at helping others.

"It's like a stone thrown in water. Some stones make a big splash and yet nothing is left beyond the wake of the splash," said Barlow. "With D.C., it was never about the splash. It always was about the result and the effect for him."

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