In Memory

Jeff Bland

Jeff Bland

Our classmate, Capt. William Jeffrey "Jeff" Bland, 49, of Germantown, TN, died Tuesday, April 14, 2009.
A native of Jackson, MS, Jeff had called the Memphis/Germantown area home for the past 19 years. As a high school student at Jackson Prep High School he attained the rank of Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America & graduated from Prep in 1978. He continued his studies at Mississippi State University in Starkville, MS. Throughout his college career he served in the Air National Guard 172nd Tactical Airlift Group. He was awarded his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from MSU in 1984. Upon graduation he entered Air Force Pilot Training at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas, where he graduated with honors. Jeff transferred to the Air Force Reserve in Charleston, SC, where he served from 1986 to 1988. His first position with a commercial airline carrier came in the late eighties when he was hired as a Flight Engineer with TWA based out of New York and St. Louis.
He was called to active duty as an Aircraft Commander in 1990 for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm respectively.
It was also during this duty that Jeff was retained by Federal Express where he rose to the rank of Captain on the MD-11. A communicant of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, a former Vestryman, and an avid fisherman and hunter, he also took pleasure in teaching children's Christian education and attending the weekly Business Luncheons held at First Evangelical Church.
Jeff leaves his wife, Catherine Doan Bland and daughters, Susannah Catherine and Sarah Elizabeth all of Germantown; his parents Col. (Ret.) Jacob Lenier and Edith Sanford Bland of Corinth, MS; a sister, Beth Bland Bauer, also of Corinth; and a brother Arthur S. "Buddy" Bland of Knoxville.
He was the grandson of the late Mr. and Mrs. James L. Bland and Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Sanford.

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04/16/09 10:48 AM #1    

David Russell

Jeff was one of the nicest guys in our class. Never pretentious, smart (I think he built a computer for 9th grade science fair that could launch ballistic missiles), good sense of humor - even at his expense. Jeff's spanish name was pronounced in redneck dialect as "hair-freeter" and he good naturedly laughed at our parody of the "Bland Stand". Sorry we didn't see him at the reunion last summer. - David Russell

04/16/09 06:02 PM #2    

Debbie Bond (Dear)

I was very sad to hear this news about Jeff but I am very proud of all that he accomplished in his life. He certainly lived his life in a positive way and I am sad that he had to leave his wife and daughters so soon. Life is certainly unpredictable....we need to chersih each and every day! Debbie

04/17/09 06:00 PM #3    

Larry Brown

I was shocked when I learned of Jeff's death. Jeff Bland was a stand up guy who put others first. I'll never forget going fishing with him on the Pearl River below the spillway. It seemed everyone was catching fish but us. We had a great time anyway. I went to the visitation and his family was holding up ok. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and precious girls.

04/27/09 12:10 PM #4    

Bobby Dye

Only the good die young.... What a great guy and a class act. It was disturbing to open the paper and see that we lost Jeff. Man, he sure accomplished a lot since high school. It made me feel like I have not done much. My heart goes out to his wife and girls. He was a first class man and a guy I was proud to know and call a friend. We never did much together but we knew each other well. I sure wish he could have made it to the reunion. I appreciated his friendship. We are losing too many of our classmates too fast. Take the time to keep in touch with your friends. They are too important to let slip by without telling them you appreciate them.

Good guy- we will miss you Jeff.

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