On Jan. 7, 2013, the Rev. Herbert C. Bland Sr. suddenly went home to be with his Lord and Savior.

He was a native of Sutherland, Va., of his life of 61 years, where he attended Dinwiddie County Public Schools.

He was preceded in death by his father, Thea Herbert Bland; mother, Dorothy Cone Bland; sister, Juanita Bland Robinson; and brother, Theodore Randolph Bland; father-in-law, Smith Williams; several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Herbert was baptized at Rocky Branch Baptist Church at an early age, and was active in the choir and Sunday school. He then later joined Wings of Faith Ministries, where he served as a deacon, chairman of the Deacon Board and later became an ordained minister. He was an active Masonic member of the St. Stephens Lodge #247 for 20 years, where he proudly served as Mason, Past Master and currently secretary of that lodge. He was also an Honorary Mason of a lodge in Richmond.

Herbert didn't mind working and always did his best. He started working at an early age and held many jobs, among them, Central State Hospital, Southern States, Titmus Optical and the Va. Department of Transportation, where he received many awards and certificates before retiring. He was a real family man. He loved his family very much and was a wonderful provider.

He is survived by a loving and devoted wife of 37 years, Sarah Williams Bland; a daughter, Tonya M. Bland; a son, Herbert C. Bland Jr.; and one granddaughter, Diamond M. Bland, whom he loved, adored and spoiled every chance he could; three sisters, Joyce B. Tucker (Alphanse) of Prince George, Patricia B. Pride of Dinwiddie and Dorethea B. Eley (Ron) of North Carolina; two aunts, Lemoyne B. Ward (Herman) and Louise W. Bland (George); one uncle, William Freeman Sr. (Marion), all of Petersburg; mother-in-law, Flora Williams of Sutherland; two sisters-in-law, Gloria W. Jones and Cynthia Stevenson (Leroy), both of Dinwiddie; two brothers-in-law, Wayne Williams of Dinwiddie and Willie Robinson of Henrico; a host of nieces, among them Arleta Tucker, whom was very special to him; nephews, cousins, and many friends too numerous to name. Herbert was well-known and loved by many, and did whatever he could to help anyone. He will be sadly missed by all.

A celebration of life will be conducted at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, at Rocky Branch Baptist Church, Sutherland, Va., with Dr. Lynn Robinson officiating and Dr. Herbert Anderson eulogizing. Interment will follow in the Bland Family Cemetery, Sutherland, Va. Immediate family will assemble at the home of his daughter, Tonya M. Bland. A public viewing will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, at William N. Bland & Son Funeral Home, 137 Harrison St., Petersburg. Arrangements have been entrusted to the staff of William N. Bland & Son Funeral Home, Petersburg; the Rev. William N. and Doris Bland Jr., Mr. James I. Gay and Mr. Antonio A. Tucker Sr., funeral directors.

Published in The Progress-Index on Jan. 11, 2013