RACINE – Mary I. Bland, 79, passed away at Select Specialty Hospital in Milwaukee on Tuesday, June 12, 2012.
She was born in Cleveland, OH on December 7, 1932, the daughter of the late Charles and Cora Margaret (nee: White) Vaughn. She graduated from John Hay High School. On June 25, 1954 she married Clarence Bland in Cleveland.
Mrs. Bland was a longtime member of Wayman A.M.E. Church. She was also Worthy Matron of the Eastern Star Badger Chapter #5 and Past Comandress of Zembo Court #130 – Daughters of Isis. Mrs. Bland was instrumental in the civil rights movement in Racine including with the assistance and development of the NAACP. She worked for St. Luke’s Hopsital, High Ridge Nursing and retired from Lutheran Social Services. In addition to her involvement in the community, she will be remembered as a talented seamstress and cook who loved to travel. However, her family will mostly remember her as their matriarch that was a doting wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend.
She is survived by her husband Clarence; her daughter, Rosemary (Cardis Crenshaw) Bland-Dye all of Racine; her grandchildren, Peter Bland, Bobby Riddick LaToyah Grayson, and Marvin (Edwina) Moore all of Milwaukee; 9 great grandchildren; her sisters and brothers, Sandra Vaughn and Sharon Turner, Leon Vaughn all of Racine and Kevin Vaughn of Ohio; her brothers-in-law and sister-in-law, Curtis Clinton Perry of California, James (Ora) Bland of Racine, Liz Brown and special nephew, LeRoy Walker both of Cleveland. She was also preceded in death by her sisters and brothers, Helen (Carl) Covington, Bernice (LeRoy) Walker, Leonard Brown and Kenny Brown.
There will be a visitation in the funeral home on Wednesday, June 20th from 5-7 p.m. Family and friends are invited to meet at Wayman A.M.E. Church (424 N. Memorial Dr.) on Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 11:00 a.m. for the celebration of her life and Homegoing with Rev. Ernest Garrison officiating. Interment will follow at West Lawn Memorial Park. There will also be a visitation in the church on Thursday from 10-11 a.m. Memorials have been suggested to Wayman A.M.E. Church.
A very special thank you to Mrs. Bland’s dear friends; especially, Callie Adams, Marian Tharpe and Idella Reames.