PRINCETON — The Truck Plaza lost a regular customer Sunday, March 12, 2017. Raymond Roy “Ray” Bland went home to be with the Lord after a long illness. He had just spent two weekends loving on his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was born March 4, 1937, in Pana to Clarence and Helen (Allen) Bland. He attended Pana High School and served in the U.S. Navy. He married his sweetheart, Patricia Scroggins, on July 28, 1956.
Ray lived in Pana, working in construction with his dad and brothers until 1967 when he moved to Princeton and began his career with Strunk Brothers Asphalt. He spent the next 50 years raising his five children, and spoiling his 13 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
After he retired from the Operating Engineers Union, he began an adventurous life with Pat, traveling, panning for gold, riding his motorcycle, wintering in Arizona, and enjoying an active and rewarding time in his life. Ray was also a member of the Lost Dutchman Mining Association.
Ray enjoyed working on cars and motorcycles and building an earth home, being described as a man who could do anything. Ray and Pat made wonderful friends where ever their journeys took them. He never met a stranger and was always helping friends, neighbors and family. Ray's greatest joy in life was his family and he loved to share, with great pride, their accomplishments and antics. Anyone who was privileged to be part of a conversation with Ray, at times laughed more because of Ray's own laughter than they did at the memories and stories he shared. What a beautiful gift he leaves us in that unforgettable joy.
Ray is survived by his wife of 60 years, Pat; his children Ray (Debbie) Bland, Lisa (Scott) Miner, Lori (Jim) Campbell, Oakley Bland and Curt (Yvonne) Bland; his grandchildren, Christie (Aaron) Henson, Christopher Bland, Benjamin (Janel) Bland, Daniel (Janelle) Miner, Brian (Kara) Campbell, Elizabeth (Casey) Lamb, Brittany Bland, Julie Campbell, Tiffany Bland, Alisha Bland, Shawn Council and Travis Bland; his great-grandchildren, Bethany and Aaron Eaton, Colin Campbell, Natalie and Levi Henson, Ian, Caleb, James and Riley Bland, and Bradley Bland; and his stepmother, Ida Mae Bland. Ray is also survived by three sisters, Margaret Cloe, Karen (Fred) Suey and Kathy (Michael) Morrison; four brothers, Richard (Darla) Bland, Michael (Deb) Bland, Rod (Karla) Bland and Moose (Lisa) Bland; his aunt, Norma Allen Akins; and a special sister-in-law, Bonnie Bland Cooper.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Helen (Allen) Bland; a brother, James Dale Bland; and an infant granddaughter, Ashley Bland.
The Grant-Johnson Funeral Home in Princeton is in charge of arrangements. There will be a memorial service held this summer for friends and family to pay their respects and to celebrate Ray's life.
Memorial contributions can be made to VITAS Hospice.
The family would like to offer a very special thank you to Marian and all the hospice nurses that took such great care of their loved one. They would also like to thank all the friends and neighbors who helped care for Ray when the family was unavailable.
Online condolences may be left at www.grant-johnsonfh.com.