In Memory

Edward Bland

Edward Bland

My dear friends.  June 1st I lost a dear friend and we lost a special class mate, Ed Bland.

For the last two years he has suffered lymphoma immune system cancer.  The rarest of all cancers.  Only 420 have ever been diagnosed and they were all post death. Ed was the first living case and worked with optimism and hope and prayers that the new Chemo Cocktail, he like to call it, would help him and others.  That and a stem cell transplant last July looked promising.  He was in remission twice. The last one only in the last 3 weeks. He was happy and had just come from a Rotary meeting when I visited with him on the 11th of May.  I found out from the Caringbridge Letter yesterday that he is with his savior now.

Please keep Donna and his family in your prayers.  They have been right along with him every step of the way.  I tried to include the photo in the obituaries, but can't copy it into this message.

May you rest in peace Ed.  We will miss your smile and optimism. :-) Sally

Edward Cole Bland, Jr.
Edward Cole Bland, Jr. ended a long, full, earthly life and entered eternal life on June 1, 2017. He was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He lived a life of service as a soldier, hospital administrator, and missionary.
Married for over 49 years to Donna Upshaw Bland, Ed was father to Barbara Bland Newsom (husband, Corey) of Katy TX and Thomas Edward Bland (wife, Jennifer) of Lincoln CA. His four grandsons, Zachary and Tyler Newsom and Jonathan and David Bland were a joy to him. He is also survived by his brother, John Cooke Bland (wife, Bonnie) of Clovis CA.
Born to Edward Cole Bland and Evalyn Blakey Bland in Kansas City, Missouri on February 26, 1945, he grew up around the world as the oldest son in an Air Force family. He graduated from Highland High School in Albuquerque NM in 1963 and then attended New Mexico Military Institute (1963-65) on a football scholarship.
Upon graduation from Texas Tech University in 1968, he entered the U.S. Army as an officer in the Medical Service Corps. Ed retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after twenty years of distinguished service. He received numerous military awards, including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and the Purple Heart. Ed served overseas tours in Vietnam, Panama, and Korea. While in the Army, he received his master’s degree in Health Administration from Baylor University.
In 1988, Ed began his civilian career as a hospital administrator in northern California. He first worked in Sacramento and later was named CEO of Colusa Community Hospital, followed by Healdsburg Community Hospital. He was a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. In 1994, Ed was named Rural Hospital Administrator of the Year for California.
In 2002, Ed and Donna entered a third chapter in their lives, joining the Rafiki Foundation, a Christian organization that provides homes and schools for orphan children in ten countries in Africa. Ed was director of the Rafiki Village in Liberia and then in Malawi. He also supervised construction of schools and taught in Zambia, Ghana, and Nigeria.
After retirement, Ed and Donna made their home in Katy TX. Ed was very active in Christ Church (Presbyterian Church in America), the Rotary Club of Katy, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9182. He was a board member for Christ Clinic in Katy. Ed was thankful for the opportunities to serve his Lord and his fellow man.
A memorial service will be held at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, June 6, 2017 at Christ Church (PCA) Katy on Gaston Road. Private interment will be in Houston National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, gifts remembering Ed may be made to: The Rafiki Foundation, 23315 CR 44 A, Eustis, FL 32736, or to the Christ Clinic, 25722 Kingsland Blvd. Suite 101, Katy, TX 77494,
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06/05/17 02:01 PM #1    

Steve Komadina

Ed was a great man and recently sent me an inquiry regarding a balloon ride in Albuquerque during a planned future  visit.  I was encouraged thinking that ment he had whipped his rare cancer but unfortunately that is not the case.  Unfortunately we are all starting to look toward a limited future and must live each day to it's fullest.  My condolances to Ed's family.  I know he will be sorely missed. 


06/06/17 09:23 AM #2    

Nancy Harrison (Hrobar)

What a stellar and productive life. Surely left a great footprint. Yes, greatful for each and every day.

06/06/17 11:19 AM #3    

Kenneth Bledsoe

A long ago lesson.

It was a cold, windy, day at Milne Stadium and we were playing against the Albuquerque Bulldogs in our last game of the 1962 football season.

I was starting left halfback for the Hornets and on our first play from scrimmage I fumbled the ball on our own 34 yard line, but we held the Bulldogs.  Five plays later, I intercepted a pass on defense only to fumble again on offense.  In the end we won 20-14.  Afterwards the locker room was subdued.  Sitting in front of my locker and removing my cleats, Ed Bland came up to me and put his hand on my shoulder and said "it's only a game, not the end of the world." I have never forgotten his message.

See page 87 HHS year book '63.   Ed # 81; Ken #21

Long ago, but not forgotten.

Ken Bledsoe, class of '63

10/05/17 09:27 AM #4    

Kathy (Kathleen) Hayes

It is so hard to hear that a person who was your friend in high school has passed.  Ed and I were not in contact following school, but I was so impressed with what he accomplished in his short life.  I wish we had not lost him so soon.  I always enjoyed seeing him in the hallways and on the field and always counted him as one of my friends.  

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