Many in the horticulture industry will greatly miss Bob Mangum, Gary Mangum’s father, who passed away Monday, February 23, after a short battle with cancer. "Virtually everything we do in business originated with him," stated Gary, current owner of Bell Nursery in Burtonsville, Md. He died at Manor Care nursing home in Potomac Md. He was a Burtonsville resident.
The Mangum family has been involved in the horticulture industry since the mid 1920s. Bob parents, Rose and Grafton Mangum, operated a wholesale greenhouse in Silver Spring, Md. for nearly 40 years. While all of the younger family members, including Bob, worked outside the business to help the family during difficult economic times, each spent considerable time working in the family greenhouses. "Bob’s older brother George said, "Bobby was the best winter thermostat we had. We took turns sleeping in the greenhouse over the winter. Bobby was always the first to sense the cold and was real quick to add coal to the boiler."
Bob bought his family’s business in 1957 and made it one of the top 100 of 30,000 FTD florists in the nation in volume of flowers ordered. He started Creative Plantings, Inc. of Rockville, Md. in 1969.
Bob is credited with bringing the "Instant Impact" color concept to the Baltimore/Washington area. "Instant Impact" is the nursery’s trademark slogan represented on all their labels, capturing the color its plants offer landscapes and the positive influence the operation has become in the floriculture industry.
Bell Nursery has been operating from state-of-the-art greenhouses in Burtonsville, since 1977. Owned and operated by Bob and Shirley Mangum, Bell set a standard for excellence in the greenhouse industry. The company was originally dedicated to supporting the family’s interior landscaping business. Bob sold the business in 1992, when it was the fifth-largest business in the nation in total sales. His son Gary, along with partner Mike McCarthy, bought the nursery in 1994.
In 2003, Gary was recognized by the American Horticultural Society with the Paul Ecke, Jr. Award of Excellence, one of the highest honors for a commercial grower. Bell Nursery is an active member of the following organizations: Landscape Contractors Association (LCA), Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA), American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA), Maryland Greenhouse Association and the Society of American Florists.
Bob Mangum was a 1951 graduate of Montgomery Blair High School and attended the University of Maryland, where he studied business administration. He served in the Marine Corps from 1953 to 1955. He has been a member of Jaycees, the Rotary Club and the Chamber of Commerce. He was former president of the Metropolitan Florists Delivery Cooperative. He was also former president of the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art in Salisbury, Md., and a former director of the Montgomery County Farm Bureau.
Funeral services for Bob Mangum were held on Friday, February 27, in the chapel of Hines Rinaldi Funeral Home in Silver Spring, Md. Cards and/or flowers can be sent to 3838 Bell Road, Burtonsville, MD, 20866.