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Charles Bernhardt Bland, Jr. of Grand Junction, TN, passed away on Tuesday, June 25, 2019. He was 83 years old.
A memorial service was held for Mr. Bland at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29 at LaGrange Methodist Church in LaGrange, TN. with Rev. Dr. Virginia Jones Finzel officiating.
Mr. Bland was born on May 12, 1936, in Memphis,TN. Charles married Martha Ann Kenny on June 24, 1956. Charles is preceded in death by his beloved Martha Ann Kenny Bland and his parents, Charles Bernhardt Bland, Sr. and Mary Elizabeth Coleman Bland, and his brother, Robert Coleman Bland. He is survived by his five children: Elizabeth Galfsky of Collierville, TN; Robert Bland (Julia) of Somerville, TN; Patricia Gunn (Mark) of Birmingham, AL; Camille Collins (Chris) of Germantown, TN; and Victoria Chandler (Edward) of Concord, NC. He is also survived by sixteen grandchildren: Charles Galfsky, Ander Galfsky (Mary Katherine), Mary Elizabeth Bland, Robert Bland, Martha Ellen Gunn, Ann Claire Gunn Bishop (Tyler), Frances Gunn, Elizabeth Gunn, Neil Gunn. Ashton Collins (Casey), Hope Collins, Charlie Collins, Edward Chandler, Patrick Chandler, Eliot Chandler, and Lauren Chandler. Charles is also survived by his great-granddaughter, Annie Kate Collins, daughter of Ashton and Casey.
Mr. Bland was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Known as Charlie to his family and friends, he was a proud 1954 graduate of East High School where he was named athlete of the year for the city of Memphis. He graduated from Mississippi State University with a B.S. in Civil Engineering where he was captain of the golf team and a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. His first employment was as an instructor at Christian Brothers College in Memphis, TN. After this he worked as a design structural engineer for the consulting firm of Gardener and Howe. He was then employed by H. G. Hall Construction Company as their chief engineer and later became a partner in Hall-Bland Company which specialized in the development and management of motor inn facilities. In 1964, Mr Bland sold his interest in the Hall-Bland firm and joined Holiday Inns, Inc. as an executive vice president in charge of construction and development. From 1968 to 1973 he served as managing director of Holiday Inns International with full responsibility for the activities of Holiday Inns, Inc. throughout Europe, Africa, and the middle east. Mr. Bland left Holiday Inns, Inc. and founded the Wellington Group, which maintained international interest in food and lodging, health care, and real estate development. In 1989, Mr. Bland founded Capital Circle Hotel Company for which he was chief executive officer until his retirement in 2012. He was an avid and excellent golfer and member of the Midsouth Seniors Golf Association. In 2015, he was awarded the MSGA coveted “Green Jacket” award. As the quintessential story teller, Charlie could captivate a crowd with his sense of humor and tales of his travels and experiences. Charlie was larger than life and admired by all who knew him. He was a member of the United Methodist Church of LaGrange, TN.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to West Institute for Cancer Research, 7945 Wolf River Blvd, Germantown, TN 38138, www.utwestinstitute.org.