Leland Bland

Leland Dye Bland

Wednesday, June 19th, 1940 - Sunday, November 8th, 2020
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Leland Bland passed away Sunday (11/8) from complications due to Covid 19 at the age of 80. Born in 1940 to Alvin and Myrna Bland, and the elder brother to Lionel Bland (also passed away in 2019).

He grew up near Kirksville, MO. His love for music was solidified at an early age often playing with his parents before small family groups. He met Reva Joyce West in college and instantly fell in love. Leland obtained his Masters Degree at Truman University (known as Kirksville University). They married in 1963, and then moved to Iowa where dad obtained his PhD in music theory from the University of Iowa. They moved to Concord College in West Virginia, where their only son (Douglas) was born in 1971. Joyce passed away unexpectedly in 2010. They are both survived by Douglas, a daughter-in-law (JoAnn), and identical twin grand daughters (Isabella and Phelana).

Leland was an accomplished musician in so many ways; phenomenal pianist, unmatched skill with jazz improvisation, and invented completely novel approaches in the field of music theory (authoring two text books). He was a music theory professor at Wright State University where his humor and good natured approach appealed to countless numbers of students. Here are a few stories told by former colleagues/students:

Story #1: “He was one on my favorite music teachers at Wright state. One early Tuesday or Thursday morning of music theory, he was eating yogurt as he lectured. But every time he went to take a bite, he stepped behind one of the columns in the room, usually pausing mid sentence. After about 5 of these bites, he announced he had tenure and he wasn't going to worry about that any more and went on to eat his yogurt a bit more normally. He sat on my senior recital and retired the next year. The CAC music wing wasn't the same without him.”

Story #2 “I remember Dr. Bland's lecture in Music Survey class on Mozart. He told us about Mozart's first composition being at age 4. Before that, he just loafed around in his crib!”

Story #3: “I’m deeply saddened to hear of his passing. He was so much more than just a colleague, he was a true friend. Ever since I started teaching at Wright State, he was most kind and supportive of me. Joyce and Lee would come to all our recitals, orchestra concerts, and were most complimentary and appreciative of the music we made. I’m honored to have premiered pieces by him with our late friend, Randy Paul, and conducted two of his compositions with the Chamber Orchestra.”

Toward the end of his tenure at Wright State, Leland received one of the highest University research awards for his work in music theory (beating out other candidates in the natural sciences and medicine). He turned to more music composition toward the end of his career writing a variety of pieces. One of which was celebrated in Japan, and he was invited to be a part of the cultural exchange.

Leland fiercely supported cultivating music aspirations in others. He often accompanied on piano while his son was on trombone. He always attended every concert or marching band competition/Friday night football games to support his son’s musical activities. He recognized the gift and musical talent that his twin grand daughters exhibited on piano. To help foster that passion, he gifted them his grand piano so that they would have the best. Such a selfless act.

His family choose to remember the good times and how he shaped so many people’s lives. We love you dad/grandpa!! He is now in a better place to be with his wife Joyce making music together again.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, November 13th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Friday, November 13th, 2020 11:00am
    David's Cemetery
    4600 Mad River Rd.
    Kettering, OH 45429
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Larry Lane
  • Interment

    Friday, November 13th, 2020 | 11:30am
    Friday, November 13th, 2020 11:30am
    David's Cemetery
    4600 Mad River Rd.
    Kettering, OH 45429
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


  • Wright State University


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Private Condolence
Kevin, Kristen, James, Sarah, Katie and Monica Wes sent flowers to the family of Leland Dye Bland.
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Kevin, Kristen, James, Sarah, Katie and Monica Wes

Posted at 07:01am
Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
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Kevin, Kristen, James, Sarah, Katie and Monica Wes purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of Leland Bland. Send Flowers


Posted at 01:00am
We were neighbors of Leland, Joyce, and Doug in the late 70’s. At 7 years old, Doug became our 3 year old son’s best friend. At first, they just talked and played through the split rail fence. Although we moved to Pittsburgh a few years later, Doug and Ryan remained good friends. My husband and I exchanged Christmas cards with Leland and Joyce for many years. They wrote messages in their cards which kept us up to date on Doug’s whereabouts, his accomplishments, and his expanding family. They often sent pictures of the twins and expressed great pride in Doug and his family.
Leland had a great sense of humor, loved his family, and was a very gentle, caring man. All who knew him will miss him greatly. For Doug and his family, we are so very sorry for your loss.
Jeff and Connie Kirchmer

Sara Halberstadt

Posted at 06:54pm
Gary and I met Leland over a year ago at Woodland Terrace when my Mother moved in. He was always such a pleasure to visit with. He would reminisce about his childhood and was always showing His pictures of his family - especially his twin granddaughters! He was so proud of them.

His humor and light hearted personality drew other residents toward him whom he always would befriend and lend a helping hand.

Shortly after my mother in law became a resident in memory care I met Leland.
Our mutual love of music fueled many long conversations. I was lucky to win invitations into his apartment to witness personal keyboard recitals. Though our trip to The Jazz Kitchen never materialized we enjoyed listening to my expanding Spotify playlist. I'll also remember his marvelous Scott Joplin piece in last year's talent show where Leland was the lone Memory Care contestant!!!
We will really miss him as will everyone !


Keith and Kara n West

Posted at 01:12pm
With sincere sympathies-
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Carrie,Addison and Charlie

Posted at 01:10pm
With our deepest sympathy-
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Leland Bland — Plant a Tree Now

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