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home : obituaries : obituaries April 12, 2021

4/6/2021 10:37:00 AM
Mildred Caldwell Drum
November 30, 1926-March 30, 2021

Mildred Caldwell Drum, 94, of Newton, passed into the arms of her loving Heavenly Father, Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at Catawba Valley Assisted Living at Rock Barn.

Born November 30, 1926 in Catawba County,  the youngest daughter of William Bartley Caldwell and Mettie Jones Caldwell, Mrs. Drum was a member of Mt. Ruhama Baptist Church, which she attended all her life. She taught several Sunday School classes, also several Training Union classes and did the music for Bible Schools. Her parents are deceased and also her loving husband of 67 years, Cletus W. Drum. Cletus and Mildred both retired from Southern Furniture Company of Conover, she from the sanding department and he as a Sample Builder. They enjoyed working, having breaks and lunch together every day as well as working and riding together.  She was also preceded in death by sisters, Bertie C. Herman and Neva Sipe and a great grandson Adam Henley. Mildred showed her talent for music at a very early age by playing on an old timey organ that her mother inherited from her father. She played and sang a song at her church at the age of eight years. At eleven years, she was playing all the church music. She was a pianist until she became organist when the church got an organ in 1961. She taught piano lessons at the age of 12 years, sometimes at her home, and many in the children’s homes. Many of her students became pianists at their churches. Mrs. W. D. Cochran was Mildred’s piano teacher and she realized her talent and got the Board of Directors of Sherwood Music School of Chicago, Illinois to let her teach Mildred their college course at her home. Mildred graduated from Balls Creek School as valedictorian of her class. She composed a song for her Senior class, which they sang at their graduation. Mrs. Katherine Rhyne, Balls Creek Public music teacher had Mildred to play for many chapel programs for the younger classes while she directed the children. She also played for the Turbyfill Quartet.  They practiced on Saturday nights at different homes, many times people gathered in the homes and the yards to listen. E. F. Drum sponsored a program for the Quartet at the Gastonia Radio Station for some time. They also sang at churches on Sunday afternoons when they had homecomings. Mildred told of instruments she had to play, an old timey organ with one note that hung up the whole time and a piano that the pedal did not work. Her family, church and  music was her life. She played for many funerals and weddings as well as her church.

Those left to cherish her memory are a son: Jeffery Drum and wife Kathy of Newton;  a daughter: Trudy Robie and husband Carl of Charlotte; grandchildren: Bibi Schmidt and husband Charlie of Maiden, Jeremy Henley and wife Ashley of Charlotte, Amanda Cash and husband Greg of Charlotte, Lindsey Owen and husband Erick of Arizona; and great-grandchildren: Halle Schmidt, Peyton Schmidt, Bryson Schmidt, Madison Henley, Talia Owen, Luke Owen, Alexis Owen, Graham Cash, Lillian Cash.

A service to celebrate Mildred’s life will be held on Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at Mt. Ruhama Baptist Church in Maiden. Rev. Mike Staton and Rev. Larry Burns will officiate. Burial will follow in the church cemetery. The family will receive friends prior to the service from 1:00 to 1:45 p.m. at Mt. Ruhama Baptist Church.

Memorials may be made to, Mt. Ruhama Baptist Church, 3273 Mt. Ruhama Church, Maiden, NC 28650 or The Gideons International, Catawba East Camp, P.O. Box 812, Newton, NC 28658.

Condolences may be sent to the Drum family at

The Drum family is in the care of Bennett Funeral Service of Newton, 828-465-2111.

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