Our beloved Larry Bland, 84, lifetime Ellensburg resident, passed away on Sunday, March 19, 2023 at the Yakima Memorial Hospital. In keeping with Larry’s wishes, his funeral will be private. However, the family recognizes the importance of allowing his friends in the community to pay their respects and to say goodbye, the opportunity for which will be at a viewing on Wednesday, March 29, from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. at Johnston & Williams Funeral Home in Ellensburg. A celebration of Larry's life will also be held later in the summer with details to be announced.
Larry was born in Ellensburg on March 8, 1939 to George & Mildred (Janssen) Bland. His younger brother, Leonard, would join the family a couple years later. He graduated from Ellensburg High School in 1957 and had enlisted in the Navy before his father passed away in an accident, which caused Larry to return home early from the service to care for his mother and brother. He married Harriet Gregerich and the couple established deep roots in Ellensburg where they raised their children, Brenda and Bart, on the family farm on Manastash Road. He worked for the Kittitas County Road Department for 38 years before retiring and, even in retirement, continued to raise cattle and help on the farm.
Larry was an active member of the local community, and he took pride in everything that he did. He was a member of the Menastash Grange #1054 since 1957 and a 40-year volunteer firefighter with Kittitas County Fire District #2, where he also served a few terms as a Fire Commissioner. He also served on the Damman School Board for 20 years, the Kittitas Reclamation District Board for 25 years and gave freely of his time for many years as a member of the Kittitas County Fair Board.
In 2010, Larry was honored as the Kittitas County Cattleman of the Year. His passions were working the cattle, riding horses, and working on the farm. Larry’s hobbies included hunting, snowmobiling, riding dirt bikes, and supporting his grandchildren throughout their 4-H years. Larry was known for his continuous jokes, sarcasm, selflessness, and contagious laugh. He was a pillar in the Bland family as a son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather.
Larry is survived by his wife Harriet; daughter Brenda; son Bart; grandchildren Andrea, Shannon, Lexie and Drew; brother Leonard (Joleeen) and nephew Troy.
Memorial contributions in Larry’s honor are suggested to Kittitas Cattlemen’s Association, 1301 N. Dolarway Rd., Ellensburg or to the Kittitas Valley Firefighters Life Support Fund, PO Box 981, Ellensburg.
Johnston & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for Mr. Bland and his family. Online condolences may be left at www.johnston-williams.com