Bland Sr., James Edward
James Edward Bland Sr., 82, of Christiansburg died, Wednesday, January 9, 2008, at the Virginia Veterans Care Center.
He was born in Ronceverte, W.Va. on July 28, 1925, to the late Telford William and Lucy Gates Holiday Bland. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Doris (Dotie) McGhee Bland; by a grandson, Andy Griffith; and a greatgranddaughter, Hannah Griffith.
James was a 1949 graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute in agricultural economics. He was a member of Faith Christian Church where he served as a leader and elder in the church for over 30 years. He was also involved with Christ Church at Virginia Tech, and was a scout master for Troop 151. He also served as a board of director for the Blue Ridge Christian Camp. James also taught 55 Alive Driving Class.
He was a belly gunner on a B24 bomber and flew in 35 combat missions during his service in World War II. He received a Purple Heart and a Distinguished Flying Cross. He was also in the Army Reserve for over 25 years receiving the rank of captain. James worked for the federal government and the Radford Army Ammunition Plant for 38 years. He received the Presidential Citation from President Carter in 1975.
He is survived by three daughters, Lynn Bland-Duncan and husband, Jackson B., Kaye Bland and Delma Griffith, all of Christiansburg; two sons, Harry L. Bland and wife, Mary, of Radford, and James E. Bland Jr. and wife, Sandy, of Christiansburg; ten grandchildren; and twelve great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be conducted Saturday, January 12, 2008, at 2 p.m. in the McCoy Funeral Home Chapel with Mr. Bobby E. Fuller officiating. Interment will follow in Roselawn Memorial Gardens, Christiansburg. Friends may call anytime after 12 noon, Friday, January 11, 2008, and the family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday at McCoy Funeral Home , 150 Country Club Drive S.W., Blacksburg, Va.