Emily Russell Bland
Emily Russell Bland, 87, passed away peacefully on March 26, 2020.
She was born on August 31, 1932, in Davidson County, North Carolina, and was the daughter of the late Hollis and Lura Russell. She was the oldest of two daughters.
Emily graduated from Lexington High School in 1951 and the Cabarrus Memorial School of Nursing in 1953. On September 13, 1953, she married Joseph (Joe) Furman Bland of Thomasville, NC.
Emily valued service to others and had a variety of volunteer roles, including Special Olympics chairman of the board and board member for High Point Association for Retarded Citizens.
She served as president of Sheraton Hills Swim Club for many years, in addition to volunteering as the P.A. announcer at both community and High Point Swim Club swim meets for long course events at City Lake Park pool in Jamestown, NC.
Emily was a longtime member of First United Methodist Church (FUMC) in downtown High Point. She served as chairman of the Staff Parish committee, was a member of United Methodist Women, and worked for many years at the UMW’s signature project, the Parson’s Table, making salads to serve the visiting furniture market guests. She was honored by FUMC as Lay Person of the Year and was honored by the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church for her work with the mentally challenged members of the church. She also volunteered in the FUMC office for more than 25 years.
But her absolute mission for the church was the Bland Class, a Sunday school class for mentally and intellectually challenged adults. For 52 years Emily taught the Bland Class, named in honor of her husband, Joe. The couple started the class together with 4 members. The Bland Class went on to serve as a model for similar Sunday school classes across the United States.
She is survived her sister, Amanda Deadwyler (Salisbury, NC); her children: Susan Bland (of the home); Amy Carroll and her husband, Jim (Benbrook, TX), and son, Joseph (Joey) and his wife, Suzanne (High Point); her beloved grandchildren: Megan Carroll, (Benbrook, TX); Rob Carroll and his wife, Kayla (Midland, TX); Sean Carroll (Benbrook, TX); Virginia Bland (Asheville, NC); her great grandchild, Kam (Midland, TX); and will be remembered by a very special niece and nephew.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the Helping Hand Fund at First United Methodist Church.
Wright Funerals-Cremations is in charge of arrangements.
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