NEWTON, NORTH CAROLINA, U.S. — Boyd H. Drum, retired president of Midstate Mills, Inc., Newton, N.C., U.S. died Dec. 16 at the Lutheran Home in Hickory following an extended illness. Drum died in his sleep the night following his 77th birthday.

Born in Catawba county, Drum graduated from Newton-Conover High School and attended North Carolina State University.

Drum was president of Midstate Mills from 1981 until his retirement in 2007. He spent his entire career at the company, established in 1935 by his father, Gossie D. Drum. Originally located in Maiden, about seven miles from Newton, the company moved into a new mill at its present location in 1960. An additional mill was built by Midstate in Wilson’s Mills, N.C., U.S. under Drum’s leadership. That latter facility was sold to Bartlett Milling Co. in 2007.

The Midstate mill at Newton has 7,500 cwts of daily milling capacity. Still a family owned business, three of Drum’s children work at the company in addition to other descendants of the founder.

In addition to his work at Midstate, Drum was a member of Beth Eden Lutheran Church and was a retired volunteer fireman for the City of Newton. He served on the board of directors of the North American Millers Association and First Union Bank — Newton Branch.

In addition to his parents, Drum was preceded in death by brothers, Ted C. Drum and J. Clifton Drum; sisters, Josephine D. Gilley and Colleen Drum.

He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Martha Jo Cline Drum of the home; daughters, Cynthia D. Gabriel of Hickory, and Dianne D. Fulbright and her husband, Michael, of Vale; son Robert D. Drum and his wife, Dana, of Conover; grandchildren, Adam Gabriel and his wife, Kristin, of Winterville, Kylie Gabriel of Hickory, Joezell Fulbright of Vale, and Sarah, Daniel, and Rebekah Drum of Conover; great-grandson, Jacob Gabriel; sister, Vera Arndt of Newton; sister-in-law, Norvella DeLany of Tucker, Georgia, U.S.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A service of remembrance was held Dec. 20 at Beth Eden Lutheran Church with burial at Catawba Memorial Park.

Memorials may be sent to the Alzheimer's Association, 3800 Shamrock Dr. Charlotte, N.C. 28215.