Michael Eugene Bland, surrounded by his wife, children, sister and other family members and friends, went to be with his Lord Friday, Feb. 13, after suffering viral pneumonia.

Mike was born on Friday the 13th of October, 1950, to Beverly Ann Hurst Bland and Percy Aron“Jack” Bland, Jr., in Orange County.

Mike is survived by his wife, Doris Bland; two children, Carrie Lynn Bland Cuevas and Matthew Cole Bland; stepdaughter, Annie Bradford; sister, Latanya Dixie Fears; sons-in-law, Chuck Cuevas and Peter Rispin; eight grandchildren, Patrick (Ian), Hay Hay (Hailie), Lizzy (Elizabeth), Eugenia (Jillian), Jake/Coon (Tanner), Coco Crisp (Kolton), Stanley (Petey), Daphine (Daphne) and a large extended family.

Mike was predeceased by his son, Michael Aaron Bland; brother, Lance Aaron Bland and his parents.

Mike grew up helping with the farming and stock raising on land off Highway 12 in Mauriceville that was originally homesteaded and handed down by his third great grandparents. In his younger years, Mike loved hunting in the undeveloped woods of Mauriceville. He graduated from Mauriceville High School, and left home to attend Sam Houston where he obtained a Master’s Degree. He taught Ag at Forest Park for a few years and also at Deweyville and Buna, he served in the Army, worked at the shipyard and various jobs while completing his education and supporting his family and eventually landed at DuPont in Orange.

After retiring from over 30 years with DuPont, he was finally able to return to teaching, his real passion.  He taught Ag Science and related subjects at Big Sandy High School and thereafter for a short period of time at Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School. Mike loved his family, friends, students, animals and grandkids.

Mike had a passion for working the land, he loved being in the woods, especially at his camp in Warren. He was always willing to buy you a tree and plant it for you. His sense of humor, large personality, and rural sensibilities will be greatly missed, and his departure will be an immeasurable loss to many, especially his family.

Pallbearers and honorary pallbearers include Matthew Bland, T-Ray Viator, Ricky Viator, Jeff Viator, Jerry Paul Viator, Orey Viator, Kevin Johnson, Joe Parfait, Rusty Gates, Tom Randall, Dwight Turner, Mike Morgan, Bubba Lormand, Justin Baker, Wayne Fears, Bryan Fears, Daniel Fears, Chuck Cuevas, Ian Cuevas, Ronny Pate, Peter Rispin, Jim Bradford, Jodie Johnson, Al Tatum, Elton Evans, and Dr. James Jones. These guys, and many others, were friends and family he knew he could call on at any time and he was ready to return the favor.

Special thanks go to the people named herein and those faculty and students who kept in touch.

Visitation will be held at Dorman Funeral Home, Orange, on Monday, Feb. 16, from 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and graveside services will be held at Weeks Chapel Cemetery in Harrisburg, Tuesday, Feb. 17, at 3:00 p.m., Pastor Kevin Brown, officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Baptist Church of Mauriceville Building Fund, 11540 Highway 12, Mauriceville, Texas, 77626, 409-745-3013, or the Weeks Chapel Cemetery Fund, 315 CR 234, Jasper, Texas, 75951, 409-383-1275, would be appreciated.

Condolences may be expressed for the family at www.dormanfuneralhome.com.