Stella Bland, 93, of Rockford passed away peacefully at her home in Hospice Care on Monday, May 25, 2020 following a brief hospital stay. Stella was born in Rockford, IL on July 3, 1926 to Julia and John Szrajba who had immigrated from Poland. Stella’s early life with her family was spent in the St. Stanislaus Parish area of Rockford. Stella was always very proud of her Polish heritage.
In 1946, she met Bill Bland of Queen City, Missouri. They were married later that year. They went on to have 4 children, Bill, Rich, Kathleen and Tom and spent their whole married life in Rockford. Stella was always involved in volunteer activities at St. Bernadette’s Church where all four children attended.
Stella always enjoyed travel, and she and Bill took many auto trips to Wisconsin and Missouri, the American West and Southwest. After Bill’s passing in 2001, she continued to take trips with, and to visit, out of state family members. She had always loved baking and gardening. Stella was kind to all she met, and always enjoyed visiting with and helping neighbors. Stella was always faithful to the Lord and carried Him in her heart.
Stella is survived by her daughter Kathleen Richardson of Rockford, son Bill Bland (Pam) of North Aurora, and son Tom Bland (Joyce) of Georgia; six grandchildren including Eric Bland (Camille) of California, Michelle Wirtjes (Hal) of Rockford, Jennifer Sheppard (Mike) of Texas, Todd Bland (Annika) of Germany, Jason Richardson (Christina) of Bartlett, and Chad Richardson (Maria) of Rockford; and eleven great-grandchildren including Tabitha, Isabella, Noah, Liliana, Evan, Sammy, Connor, Gigi, Janessa, Colin, and Shaun; as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. She is preceded in death by her husband, Bill in 2001; her son, Richard Bland (Marilyn); her parents; and siblings, John Szrajba (Blanche), Florence Walton (“Walt”), Edward Schraiber (JoAnne) and Bernice Sides (Bill); her niece, Cindy Moberg; and numerous cousins.
The family wishes to thank the many neighbors, friends and the Care Team at Heartland Hospice, all of whom who gave Stella so much assistance, comfort and devotion during her brief illness.
A walk-through visitation will be held from 10:00 to 11:00am on Saturday, May 30, 2020 in Honquest Family Funeral Home-Mulford Chapel, 4311 N. Mulford Road, Loves Park. Masks are suggested and please follow social distancing guidelines as recommended by our health officials. A private family service will be held and a private burial will follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Winnebago, IL.
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