come to the white porch
don’t say a thing
come sit beside me
and hear silence sing
Laurel Claire (Strope) Mangos died peacefully at home in Bayside on December 3, 2020. She was 70 years young and her remarkable beauty and spirit was with her to the very end. Laurel was born in Eureka, California, on July 21, 1950, to parents Charles and Glady Strope and, but for short times away during college, she lived her entire life here. She attended the University of Oregon and later, graduated from Humboldt State University with an advanced degree in psychology. On September 21, 1975, Laurel married Thomas George Mangos at her parents’ home in Eureka.
It is hard to know how to begin to speak about a person who was so special to so many people in her lifetime. Laurel was a loyal wife, a loving sister and a devoted mother to her two daughters. She cared deeply for the many friends who had become like family over the years. Although she considered herself to be shy, she made friends everywhere she went with her sense of humor and kind, welcoming nature. Laurel was an extraordinary caregiver and advocate for both her mother-in-law and her parents in their later years. She could do anything when she put her mind to it and had an inner strength that few people possess. Laurel provided loving support to her husband Tom, former Postmaster of Bayside. Her profound wisdom helped her family navigate the ups and downs of life. She was a stalwart volunteer in her daughters’ classrooms, both when they were children and when they became teachers themselves. Laurel had five grandchildren, in whom, more than all else, she felt herself most fortunate and loved them more than they will ever know. She spent many years of her life helping to raise her grandchildren and she will live on in their hearts and minds always. Her family will be forever grateful for the compassionate care she provided to those she loved.
Laurel was very creative and had a real talent for the arts. She had an amazing grasp of the English Language and taught an after school creative writing class at Jacoby Creek. Laurel was actively involved in the Jacoby Creek Parent Teacher Organization, as well as being an Instructional Aide. She also wrote a column for many years called “The Bayside Beat,” published in the Arcata Union. Laurel wrote and illustrated numerous books for her family that are treasured to this day. She enjoyed sending cards to others and always found just the right words to express her feelings and brighten the recipient’s day. In her younger years, she wrote wonderful songs and we were blessed whenever she got out her “git-fiddle” to strum our favorite tunes. Laurel (Halima) was a member of the Sufi Community and enjoyed the time spent connecting, dancing, and singing. Laurel was always able to find beauty in the world. Maybe this was easy for her because her soul and spirit radiated a beauty all its own.
Laurel had many fond memories of traveling. On her sixteenth birthday she joined her grandparents on a wonderful trip to Europe and returned later with college friends for a hitchhiking adventure. Another special trip was with her husband and mother-in-law to visit family in their beloved Greece. The World Harmony Tour to Russia and Romania with the Redwood Coast Children’s Chorus to sing songs of peace with her daughter, Melissa, was very memorable for her. Weekend trips to the cabin in Salyer were cherished times.
Laurel leaves behind her beloved husband, Tom, of 45 years; daughter Melissa Seymour and husband James; daughter Lindsay Neely-Mangos and husband, Reed. She was “Yia-Yia” (Greek for Grandmother) to her treasured grandchildren: Tasi and CJ Seymour and Lizzy Gunzenhauser; Lena and Kieran Neely-Mangos; she is also survived by her brother, Lane Strope and wife Susan; her sister, Lynn Intersimone and husband John; sisters-in-law, Carla Strope and Vicki McCulley; her nephews and nieces: Ian Strope and Seth Strope and wife Olivia; Kara Fales and husband Cory; Nikki Roberts and husband Mike; Felicia Strope and Shawn Zimmer; Shelley Beck and husband Ray; and many dearly loved great nephews and nieces, cousins, and beloved friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Glady Strope, her brother, Reed Strope, and parents-in-law George and Tasia Mangos; sister-in-law, Pauline Kogeler; and niece Lori Hartman and nephew Terry Hartman.
A celebration of her life will be scheduled at a later date. Memorial contributions in Laurel’s honor may be made to a charity of your choice. This world will truly never be the same without Laurel. She left a lasting impact of love in the hearts of all those who were fortunate to know her.
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Laurel Mangos’ loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.