Longtime Midstate Mills leader dies

A longtime leader of Newton-based Midstate Mills Inc. died suddenly Saturday.

Boyd Hawn Drum served Midstate Mills as president and chairman of the board of directors from the early 1980s until 2007, said Steve Arndt, the company's vice president and chief marketing officer. Drum was 77.

Drum's father, G.D., founded the company that became Midstate Mills in Maiden in 1935. The company moved to Newton in 1961.

Drum's son, Robert, currently serves as Midstate Mills' corporate president and chairman of the board of directors.

Midstate Mills markets cornmeal, pancake mixes, season coatings and other products under the Southern Biscuit and Tenda-Bake names; food service products and commercial flour on the Ready Mix label; and feed and bulk feed products on the Big M and Circle M names.

Drum was a graduate of Newton-Conover High School and attended N.C. State University, according to an obituary from Drum Funeral Home and Cremations in Conover. He was also a retired volunteer fireman for the city of Newton, and a member of the board of directors for both the North American Millers Association and First Union Bank's Newton branch.

Services will be at 1 p.m. today at Beth Eden Lutheran Church in Newton.

Arndt said Drum's death was sudden and the company had not set plans to honor its former leader.