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Obituary for Walter M. Bland
WALTER M. BLAND SR. was born in Blackstone, Virginia on June 19, 1935. The first-born child of the late Idella and Rev. Morris O. Bland. Walter attended A. G. Richardson Elementary and Luther Foster High School where he met his future wife. Much of his youth was spent working on the farm with his parents and siblings. He confessed a hope in Christ and was baptized at Spring Hill Baptist Church at an early age. In April of 1954 Walter enlisted in the United States Army were he honorably served for three years. On May 19, 1957 Walter married JoAnne Shelton and relocated to Chicago, IL where their union produced two children, Walter M. Jr. and Sharon Elizabeth (Cartman). Walter loved attending reunions and being with the family. Walter and JoAnne attended Third Baptist Church in Chicago, Ill. May 2007 marked 50 years of marriage which was celebrated with their children and grandchildren. Walter’s love for the Army prompted him to reenlist and continue to serve in the National Guard and Army reserves and achieve the rank of Command Sergeant Major until his retirement in 1993. Walter was a member of the Teamsters Union 705 and worked for Certified Grocers for 29 years until his death on December 29, 2007. Walter was preceded in death by his sister Eva Bland, his father in-law Claiborne Shelton Sr. and brother in law Edward Lee Shelton. Cherishing his memory are his loving wife JoAnne; son Walter Jr. (Robin) daughter Sharon (Alvalto Sr.), grandchildren, Miquiva, Alitra,Sharita, Alvalto Jr., Ashley, Meaira, Heather, Sianna, Amiya, Mireya, Ayana and Amanuel. Sisters Virginia Tucker (Jessie), Beatrice Ghee (Carroll), Dorothy Johnson (Kenneth), Carrie Hobbs, Ella Bland, Josephine Baskerville (George), Gloria Bland, brother Morris Bland Jr. aunt Sarah B. Coleman, Mother in-law Mrs. Bertha Shelton sister in-law Ruby Jackson (Richard) brother in-law Claiborne Shelton Jr. and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. His leadership, fun loving smile, jokes and story telling will forever be missed. Funeral Services will be held Monday, January 7, 2008 at 1:00 p.m. from Spring Hill Baptist Church, Blackstone with interment in the church cemetery.W.E. Hawkes & Son Funeral Home in charge of the arrangements.