"Well done thy good and faithful servant, Thou has been faithful over a few things. I will make you ruler over many; enter thou into the joy of the Lord."
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Mrs. Doris Yvette Bouldin Bland, 59, co-owner of Bland Enterprises Inc. of 418 Olde Keswick Lane, Prince George, was summoned to Heaven after a life of labor and love, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. at Southside Regional Medical Center, Petersburg, surrounded by her beloved family.
She was born Feb. 15, 1954, in Bronx, N.Y., to the late Thomas Bouldin Sr. and Flossie Odom Bouldin. Doris started her education in the New York City School District until she was 12 years of age. At that time, she and her siblings experienced the untimely passing of their mother and relocated to Chesterfield to live with their grandparents, Thomas and Viola Austin Bouldin of Chesterfield. After her grandparents passed, her aunt, Viola Bates Maniego, raised her along with her siblings.
Doris accepted Christ at an early age and in earlier years attended Bethesda Baptist Church in Chester. She was currently a member of Metropolitan Baptist Church where she served as the first lady.
She was a 1972 graduate of Thomas Dale High School. Doris then received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia State University in 1978 in Elementary Education. She began her career in the Petersburg Public Schools as a student teacher at Peabody Middle School. Also, she taught at Virginia State University Center (nursery school) for young children. After receiving her accreditation to become a teacher, she accepted a position with the Chesterfield County Public school system as a second-grade teacher at Ettrick Elementary School. She cared and nurtured her students with impeccable service for over 10 years. Her students loved her and she loved them. So many of her students still today speak of how she was their favorite teacher. She enjoyed seeing her students in adulthood and was fond of so many. Doris later received her Master's in Administrative Supervision from her alma mater, Virginia State University.
After a rewarding career in education, "Dot" as she was affectionately called by her children decided to join the family business with her father-in-law, the late William N. Bland Sr. and her husband, the Rev. William N. Bland Jr. She furthered her education and received an Associate Degree in Funeral Services from John Tyler Community College with the added knowledge from her family.
Doris became a licensed funeral director and ultimately became co-owner of Bland Enterprises Inc., operating as William N. Bland & Son Funeral Home and Turner-Bland Funeral Home.
On Sept. 6, 1975, Doris married her longtime friend and companion, the Rev. William N. Bland Jr. and to unto this union two beautiful children were born, William N. Bland III and Nickia Rachelle Bland Johnson. She was an excellent mother and always made sure her children were well taken care of.
Doris was very active in the community. In her Christian experience, she was first called to serve alongside her husband as the First Lady of First Baptist Church, Waverly. Then, Doris was called to serve as First Lady of Metropolitan Baptist Church, Petersburg, where her husband serves as pastor emeritus.
Doris was always involved in empowering and serving her community and served in many capacities. In civic affiliation, she was a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., (Petersburg Alumnae Chapter). the former president of the American Business Women's Association Appomattox Charter Chapter (ABWA) and Order of Eastern Star of VA PHA Electa Chapter #7, just to name a few.
Doris was an exceptional funeral directress. She was adamant that all families be handled with the best of care. She loved being a funeral director and she was dedicated to her calling. Her career affiliations included the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Associations, Virginia Morticians Associations and the Southside Virginia Funeral Directors Associations.
Many knew Doris to be a beautiful songstress and she touched the lives of many through song. She loved to sing and be a blessing to others. Doris often sang, "Safe in His Arms." She loved Jesus with all she had and talked about His goodness everywhere that she went.
Doris touched the lives of many. She always greeted one with a, "Hello Sweetie Peetie," and she always had a word of encouragement to give. Doris would give to anyone in need and was very passionate about her family.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister, LaFrancia Stewart; two nephews, Douglas Newsome Jr. and Marcus K. Diggs and her in-laws, Mr. and Mrs. William N. Bland Sr.
She leaves to cherish her memories: a loving and devoted husband of 37 years, the Rev. William N. Bland Jr.; loving and devoted son, William N. Bland III, both of Prince George; loving and devoted daughter, Nickia Bland Johnson (Victor Sr.) of Fort Gordon, Ga.; one stepdaughter, Velita Harris of Houston, Texas.; her loving and devoted grandchildren, Nasia Queen Olivia Johnson, Victor L. Johnson Jr., Nia Simone Johnson all of Fort Gordon, Ga., and Asia Harris of Houston, Texas; three sisters, Jacqueline Diggs Hawkes (Michael), Andreadoria Newsome (Douglas Sr.) both of Chesterfield and Mary Bailey Hobbs of Washington, D.C.; two brothers, Thomas Bouldin Jr. (Yvonne) of Richmond and Stonewall Odom (Marlena) of Petersburg; three aunts, Viola Bates Maniego (Morris), Mary Bailey of Chesterfield and Luellen House of Bronx, N.Y., one uncle, Wallace "Clutch" Bouldin (Sue); one sister-in-law, Dr. Barbara Hailes, of Hampton and a host of many devoted nieces, nephews, devoted cousins and other relatives whom she adored and they adored her in return; so many friends among them devoted, Leland "Tracy" Brown, Joyce and George Noel, all of Petersburg, Junius and Costella Williams of Portsmouth, Donna Dillard, Gloria Maple, Ruth Bowles Maclin, Antoinette Lipscomb, the Rev. Sylvia Wright, the Rev. Merle Keane, numerous first ladies, clergymen and women, funeral directors and so many more too numerous to name. A special thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff of Southside Regional Medical Center.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, at Metropolitan Baptist Church, 1021 Halifax St., Petersburg, where the interim pastor, the Rev. Lamont Hobbs, will officiate. The Rev. Dr. Andrew J. White Sr., pastor emeritus of Zion Baptist Church, Petersburg, will eulogize. Interment will follow in the Blandford Cemetery, Petersburg. A wake will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday evening at the chapel of William N. Bland and Son Funeral Home, Petersburg.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the staff of William N. Bland & Son Funeral Home, Petersburg. The Rev. William N. Bland Jr. and Mr. James I. Gay, funeral directors. For more information or to leave an online condolence, visit us at blandenterprisesinc.com.
Published in The Progress-Index from Jan. 18 to Jan. 20, 2013