Ocean Springs musician remembered for talent, compassion

When Kathy Mangin sang, it was a moment to treasure. Music was her passion - her life.
Published: Mar. 12, 2023 at 9:25 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. (WLOX) - When Kathy Mangin sang, it was a moment to treasure. Music was her passion - her life.

That is, until last week, when she was killed in a car accident in Ocean Springs.

Longtime friend and musician Augie Taconi remembers the call.

“I didn’t know what to say. I was called they said, ‘Did you hear about Kathy?’ And, I went, ‘No.’ I thought we were going to be doing something here a church, you know, musically. And they said she was killed in a car accident. And, I couldn’t speak after that.”

Friend and long-time Broadway and Hollywood actor, director and producer Marco St. John, says Mangin’s talent was meant for bigger spaces.

But she chose to keep it here.

“She was a show-stopper,” he said. “Wherever she sang and wherever she brought her talent, she was outstanding. ... She could have gone back to New York at some point. She had a magnificent voice.”

Mangin used her talent on stages across the Coast.

She was a longtime music director at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church and teacher at St. Alphonsus Catholic School in Ocean Springs.

For now, her guitar is still tucked away in the instrument closet in the loft, her piano still facing the sancturary and music for her favorite song is still within arms reach.

“Every time that she had a chance to, she wanted to ‘Ave Maria,’” Taconi said. “She did it for my mother’s funeral. It was extraordinary.”

Father Mike Snyder, pastor of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church, said she was so well connected to her craft and the people who worked with her.

“She’ll be sorely missed and pray for the family and for us that we remember with love Kathy and that the grade of God will help us pass through this tremendous loss and devastation,” he said. “But, Kathy was a holy person, who prayed quite a bit. And she was in the grace of God. So, she’s with the Lord. And we thank the Lord for that gift.”

Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time.

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