Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Leslie LeRoy “Roy” Bland, 84, of Traverse City, departed this life on April 23, 2014, concluding a 31-year battle with prostate cancer.
Roy was born Aug. 15, 1929, in Petoskey, to Leslie Lloyd “Sorg” Bland and Erma (Valencourt) Bland. The family moved to East Jordan and then to Traverse City in 1934, quite coincidentally when the old Central School burned down. Roy attended Union Elementary School and then Traverse City (Central) High School, graduating in 1947.
On June 1, 1948, he married Kathryn Rose Geary in rural Traverse City.
Roy attended Western Michigan and then returned to Traverse City, where he joined the fire department. In 1954 he went to work for Michigan Bell, transferring to Newberry in 1960, back to Traverse City in 1964 and later to Petoskey, eventually retiring in Traverse City.
Roy was an avid hunter; his beagle Sam was pictured in the Record-Eagle in 1956 with the notable caption, “Beagle Bags Bobcat,” though Sorg’s Remington brought the cat down - Sam was so fast that it took a dead shot to hit the cat and not the dog!
Roy and Katy traveled a good deal; hauling a travel trailer to Alaska was their longest trek. Roy and old friend, Rex Watson, fulfilled their boyhood dreams by becoming private pilots and flew the local club’s new Piper Colt from Vero Beach home - quite forgetting to remove the lens cap from the movie camera. Roy also rode his Honda Gold Wing Coast, first to Daytona Beach and then to British Columbia. Lately Roy drove to the West Coast and then to New England to total 49 states visited, never getting to Hawaii, where his dad was stationed with the Seabees in World War II.
Roy is survived by a son, Steven LeRoy (Judy) Bland, of Lincolnton, N.C.; a daughter, Stacia Rose (Rick) Tengelitsch, of Hendersonville, Tenn.; eight grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Glenn and Keith Bland; and son, Stuart Scott Bland, was stillborn in 1966.
Interment will be beside Katy’s remains at Memorial Gardens on Veterans Drive in Traverse City.
The family would like to thank Roy’s grandson, Erick von Tengelitsch II, for being close at hand during his decline and passing and for the excellent attention of Munson Hospice House.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with Roy’s family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
Arrangements for the family have been entrusted to Reynolds Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.