09/18/06 — DR. RALPH BLAND

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April 9,1927-Sept. 16, 2006

Dr. Ralph Wingate Bland, 79, died Saturday at the Kitty Askins Hospice Center in Goldsboro after a long illness.

A native of Goldsboro, he was the son of the late Judge David Hendry Bland and Lizzinia Moore Bland. Dr. Bland practiced medicine in Wayne County for more than 33 years and was widely respected for his compassion and concern for his patients.

Dr. Bland graduated from Goldsboro High School in 1944, served in the United States Navy for one year at the conclusion of World War II and graduated from Wake Forest College in 1948. In 1952, he graduated from Bowman Gray School of Medicine and was licensed in North Carolina to practice as a physician. He served his internship and residency in general and plastic surgery at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa. He became a certified member of the American Board of Surgery in 1960 and of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery in 1962.

In April 1960, Dr. Bland was appointed to the Medical Staff of Wayne County Memorial Hospital and was elected as its president in 1969 In 1974, he was elected president of eastern North Carolina's Fourth District Medical Society.

Dr. Bland contributed his time, knowledge and talents in many ways, including serving as the chairman of the Wayne Memorial Hospital Department of Surgery. Dr. Bland also served as chairman of the outpatient surgical program and provided leadership for the expansion of outpatient practices for the medical staff and the community.

He was instrumental in the reorganization of the hospital emergency room to include full-time emergency room physicians, a restructuring that has helped Wayne Memorial Hospital develop into one of the region's premier emergency departments.

Dr. Bland was elected by his peers to membership in the esteemed North Carolina Surgical Association. He served as the association's president in 1988 and later as its secretary.

Hewas active as a volunteer in the Goldsboro Cancer Association. He served as president of the local chapter and as a director of the North Carolina State Board of the American Cancer Society.

Dr. Bland is survived by his sisters-in law, Katherine Bland Allred of Morehead City and Lillian Bland of Goldsboro; nieces and nephews, Martha Bland Bell of Morehead City, Cherry Bland Crumpler of Wilmington, Betsy Benthall Michaels of Dallas, Texas, Pattie Bland White of Darlington, S.C.; Julia Bland and Jane Bland of Spartanburg, S.C., William Wooten Bland of Goldsboro, W. Powell Bland Jr., of Denver, Colo.; Raymond C. Benthall Jr., of Murphreesboro and David Benthall of Chattanooga, Tenn.

He was preceded in death by his brothers, David Hendry Bland Jr., W. Powell Bland and Thomas W. Bland Jr., and his sister, Sonora Bland Benthall.

In addition to his family, Dr. Bland is survived by his long-time colleague and friend, Ernestine Brewer. Mrs. Brewer began working with Dr. Bland on the day he opened his medical practice in April 1960 and remained his indispensable assistant throughout his career and until the time of his death, serving as Dr. Bland's operating room nurse, office nurse and professional office manager.

Throughout his illness, Dr. Bland greatly appreciated and relied upon his kind caregivers, including Leora Bizzell, Betty Brown, Soundra Brown, Josephine Sims and Rhonda Smith. Dr. Bland's family is deeply grateful for their faithful and loving attention.

The funeral will be held at First Baptist Church, 125 S. John St., in Goldsboro Tuesday at 11 a.m. with Dr. Glenn Phillips, pastor, and the Rev. D. Raby Edwards of Morehead City officiating. Burial will be in Willowdale Cemetery in Goldsboro.

The family will receive friends tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at Seymour Funeral Home, 1300 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro. At other times, they will be at the home of Lillian Bland, 1700 E. Walnut St.

Memorials may be made to the Bowman Gray Scholarship Fund at Wake Forest University Hospital, Hospital Development Office, Medical Center Blvd., Winston-Salem, 27157-1021, or to First Baptist Church, 125 S. John St., Goldsboro, 27530, where Dr. Bland worshipped throughout his life.

(Written & Pd by the family)

Published in Obituaries on September 18, 2006 2:15 PM