It was the evening of Wednesday, April 5, 2023, when Jeffrey Dee Bland went to be with his Lord and Savior following an extended illness.
Dottie Bland’s sister-in-law, Hallie, had decided that she wanted Dottie’s baby to be born on her own birthday. And so it was, after a carefully-planned dose of castor oil, that Jeff was born on August 19, 1960 in Kalamazoo, MI. He was the youngest child of Dorothea “Dottie” & Cecil Bland, who had moved to Kalamazoo in 1950 from the Lewisburg, WV area to settle and raise a family.
Jeff grew up on the northeast side of Kalamazoo near Parchment and his Aunt Hallie & Uncle Pat, who were like a second set of parents to him and his siblings. After the family made their permanent move in 1972 to their summer home at Pickerel Lake, near Kalamazoo, the seeds were planted for Jeff’s growing interest in fishing and golf. At Vicksburg Community High School, from where he graduated in 1978, he enjoyed participating with friends on the golf team while also taking an interest in building trades. He followed his interest and knack for brick & block work into the masonry profession in which he made a living for many years. He took classes at Kalamazoo Valley Community College to help sharpen his skills. He was very proud of his work on the Cook Carillon Clock Tower at Grand Valley State University-Allendale campus. After leaving the world of masonry, he further utilized his love of working with his hands and performed apartment renovations for a local residential company.
For many years, Jeff spent his summers living in his camper in Montague, MI and enjoyed fishing from his boat on “The Big Lake” Michigan. He spoke fondly of those days and called them some of the happiest of his life.
Jeff loved his family and friends and his constant companion, his dog, Britney. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Sandra (Swan) Bland, mother-in-law Doris Swan, his beloved pup, Britney, brothers Michael Bland, Robert (Carla) Bland and sister, Susan Bland (Frank Cook), nephews Robbie (Tracy) Bland, Kyle (Holly) Bland, and niece Kelly (Bryan) Laven and 8 great nephews & nieces.
Cremation has taken place through Avink McCowen & Secord Funeral Home of Schoolcraft, MI. The family will hold a private burial at Boughton Cemetery in Pavilion Township. Memorial contributions may be directed to Centrica Care Navigators Hospice (formerly known as Hospice Care of SW Michigan) either online at www.centricacare.org or by mail to Centrica Care Navigators at 7100 Stadium Dr, Kalamazoo, MI 49009.