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July 10, 1954-July 25, 2020

Randall Kent Bland, age 66, of Blackjack, Missouri, passed away at his home Saturday, July 25, while members of his family sang “Beulah Land.”

He was born July 10, 1954, in Humansville, Missouri, the third son of Ewing Joseph and Lena Jane (Sumner) Bland. His two brothers, Lacel and Dwight, were twenty and fifteen years older than him.

Randy grew up in the fields of Blackjack, working on the family farm and making memories with his cousins, Kathy and Karen. He worked for local rancher, Charlie Vilhauer, before going to work at the Beam Factory as a teenager. He attended and graduated from Fort Scott Christian Heights in 1972. He then went one semester to Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar, before transferring to Kansas City College and Bible School in Overland Park, Kansas.

While at KCCBS, he met Iris Simpson, the love of his life. They were married Aug. 9, 1974, at Gregory Hills Church of God (Holiness) in Kansas City. Randy often liked to say that President Nixon would have come to the ceremony if he hadn’t been so busy that day. Randy and Iris were working on their forty-sixth year of marriage.

Randy brought Iris home to Blackjack, where he began to work with his father in the construction business. Before long, he built the beautiful home in which they have lived for the past forty-four years. Shortly before he died, he had begun working on plans for an addition to make room for the expanding family.

For the first several years of his marriage, he claimed he did not want children, but he finally gave in and the rest was history. He ended up with six children and fourteen grandchildren with two more on the way.

He took over his father’s construction business and worked there for many years. During this time, he also was running cattle on the family farm, owned a laundromat and carwash in Stockton with Don Moomaw for a few years. He later bought Hackleman and Sons Funeral Home in El Dorado Springs, fulfilling a lifelong dream to become a funeral director. He also bought Brumback Funeral Home in Stockton. He poured his heart and soul into the funeral homes and still was making improvements on them up to the day he had his stroke.

Randy also was the pastor of a couple of small churches early in his life and continued in pulpit supply until the end. He believed his work in the funeral business was an extension of this ministry.

He attended the Blackjack Church of God (Holiness), where his parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents all had attended. He faithfully supported and served there, including as chairman of the church board. He also loved and served the wider Churches of God (Holiness), including time as the treasurer of Herriman Chapel Camp, which he attended as long as he could. He had been serving for many years on the board of Herald and Banner Press at the time of his death.

He loved sports, especially the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Chiefs. He went to countless games his children played and occasionally was able to serve as coach. He also enjoyed playing softball, which he did into his late fifties in order to play with his sons. In the last game he played, he hit a game-tying triple in the final inning. He thought about trying to make it an inside the park homerun, but his oldest son, Randy, was coaching third and was ready to tackle him if he tried. He scored the winning run when the next batter got a single.

Randy was an avid coon hunter and turkey hunter. He loved coon hunting with his Dad; his brother, Lacel; his son, Travis; and his best friend, Bob Clouse. Many other cousins, nephews, and friends looked forward to going coon hunting with him. He also passed this passion on to some of his children. Later in life, he developed a passion for turkey hunting. He never had to use a call, he just used his mouth. Even this year, when most people struggled to get one turkey, he bagged both of his birds.

Randy loved his family very much, though all the noise sometimes got the better of him. He was fond of saying his two favorite times were seeing his grandchildren coming down the road to visit and seeing them going back down the road when they left. He also often said how blessed he was that all of his children lived so close to home.

His legacy is best seen in the fact all of his children are following the same Jesus he followed and are all actively involved in various forms of ministry in their local churches.

Preceding Randy in death were his parents, Ewing and Lena; his brother, Lacel; his sister-in-law, Barb; and his father and mother-in-law, Willis and Mary Simpson.

Survivors include his wife, Iris, of the home; his children: Randall J. Bland and wife Mandi, Casandra Sayler and husband Tysen, Travis Bland and wife Lindsay, Trent Bland, Quinton Bland and wife Leah; and Laurie Rapp and husband Layne; fourteen grandchildren, Paityn, Emma, Bella, Travis, Audrey, Daniel, Tyten, Eleanor, Karsen, Thaddeus, Sawyer, Lizzie, Sutton, and Josie, as well as two more on the way; his brother, Dwight Bland of Cheyenne, Wyoming; his aunt, Nadine Winters of San Antonio, Texas; sisters-in-law Earnestine Bland of Reno, Nevada, Glenda Marrs of El Dorado Springs, Laura Pegram of Eudora, Kansas, and Becky Johansen and husband Rodney, of Lawrence, Kansas; brother-in-law Willis Simpson and wife Elaine of Mission, Kansas; nieces, Chrissy Scionti of Reno, Nevada, and Denise Moreira of Kansas City, Kansas, who both came to visit every summer; numerous other nieces and nephews; and too many cousins to count.

A visitation will be held 6-7 p.m. Wednesday, July 29, at Bland-Brumback Funeral Home Stockton. A second visitation will be held 6-7 p.m. Thursday, July 30, at Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home, El Dorado Springs.

A funeral service for Randy K. Bland will be held 10 a.m. Friday, July 31, at the El Dorado Springs Church of God (Holiness) with Rev. Joe Dodson and Rev. Brent Bland officiating. The service will be live-streamed on the church YouTube channel and Facebook page. Music will be provided by David Henley, Faith Trussell, Jeremy Oehring and Curtis Biswell.

Interment will follow at Love Cemetery under the direction of Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home.

Pallbearers will be Randall J. Bland, Travis Bland, Trent Bland, Quinton Bland, Tysen Sayler, and Layne Rapp. Honorary pallbearers will be Dwight Bland, Bob Clouse, Willis Simpson, Rodney Johansen, Ralph Bland, Ronald Bland, Dwain Witt, Don Witt, Todd Leonard, Robin Fischer, Kenny Hubbard, Rusty Norval and Charles Cross.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Herald and Banner Press and left at the funeral home.

Online condolences may be left at www.blandhackleman.com.