Mildred Holland Bland died on July 23. She was 104 years old.
Born in Hamilton, Illinois, she was raised in Keokuk, Iowa, with her three younger sisters and brother, Claudia, Consuelo, Marjorie, and Claude. All are deceased.
She moved to Boston in her adult years, first living in the Orchid Hill Road area of Jamaica Plain then moving to Crawford Street in Roxbury, followed by living for many years in her stately home in Dorchester with her two sisters and a brother, along with her nephew.
She entertained in a grand old-fashioned manner, and those who ever attended one of the lovely dinners or teas were always elated with all the fuss that was extended.
Ms. Bland had been a staunch Republican in her early years, but in her mid-adult years changed over to the Democratic Party for which she worked behind the scenes. She was the matriarch of the Bland family, and she put her own career on hold for all of these years. She never married but had several offers to do so.
Ms. Bland moved to the Island in 1995, to live with her niece, Dr. Lorna E. Andrade of Edgartown, who became her primary care-giver.
She was a mild-mannered lady, but persuasive as a leader in social activities and organizations. She was on the board of the Martha’s Vineyard Branch of the NAACP and Emeritus member. She was on the board of the Martha’s Vineyard League of Women Voters. She was a Day Member at the Edgartown Council on Aging for many years and loved each session she attended, especially being in the fashion shows. She had a wonderful God-given alto singing voice and loved to sing at church.
On Martha’s Vineyard she attended Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven where she belonged to the Ninety Club, a group of active 90-plus-year-olds doing things! She also attended the Methodist Church in the Campground, and the Whaling Church in Edgartown.
Her closest Island friends are TM and Marie Araujo, who also have watched over her well-being throughout these years. Thanks to Helen Rogers, Carrie Tankard and her late husband, George, Rupert and Rozetta Hughes, Jerry Wells, Tad and Judy Crawford, Clint and Carol Aldrich from Chappy, also their adopted Greyhound doggies for the visits, and the Trinity United Methodist Women for all the lovely cards sent.
She moved off-Island in December of 2000 to The Goddard House, previously the Home for Aged Women, in Jamaica Plain across from the Veterans Administration Hospital. While living there she had several friends and associates that she could visit and take day trips with.
Two remaining younger friends are Geraldine Ross and Ruth Dalton. Also nephews Lorry, Steven, and Kevin Chambers. Marion and son, David, Vieira, Dr. Maxine Elmont and daughter-in-law Linda, Dr. Virginius B. Thornton III., John and Donna and Jay Hofmann, and Eleanor Mason.
She remained active up until these past two years. When she sustained falls, she would only apply self-healing techniques and old-fashioned remedies, and she never took any medications, nor drank coffee or tea.
She would have a small glass of sherry, Coca Cola or ginger ale with ice only. She never smoked, and she was a great cook too. She would say, “that is why I am almost 104 years old.” She loved doggies: first Giggers, a bull mastiff, Sahara and Star, both cocker spaniels, Sir Benji and Sir Petey both Pekingese, and the youngest little Suki, a little Shih Tzu.
Finally, she wanted friends and family to know that she enjoyed the many cards and notes they all sent to her at the Goddard House where she resided for the last ten years. This kept the Island close to her heart of memories.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to your favorite charity. A graveside service was held at The Blue Hill Cemetery in Braintree on July 28.
Arrangements were under the care of Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs. Please visitwww.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.