Cover photo for Joan Bland (Paul)'s Obituary
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1936 Joan 2023

Joan Bland (Paul)

February 4, 1936 — March 30, 2023

Joan (Paul) Bland, 87, graduated to heaven on Thursday, March 30, 2023, in Independence, Missouri. Joan is survived by her husband of 49 years, David Carmichael Bland, of the home; niece Debbie Montavy (Kenneth); nephews, Dennis Paul (Kim); Gary Paul; great nephew Shaun Milo Montavy; great-grand niece Michelle Montavy; great-grand nephew Christian Montavy; plus hundreds of former students and many friends who she considered as extended family. Her parents, Milo Carl Paul Sr. and Mary Lou (Hobbs) Paul, preceded her in death, as did her brother, Milo Carl Paul Jr.

Joan was born at home during a snow-storm in rural Jackson County Missouri, now a part of the City of Independence. She graduated from William Chrisman High School in 1954. She received an Associate of Arts degree from Graceland College, Lamoni, Iowa, and a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Elementary Education from Central Missouri State University.

Joan’s professionalism and dedication earned her numerous awards including the Outstanding Elementary Teachers of America Award, The Excellence in Teaching in Greater Kansas City Award, and was twice named “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.” She was a finalist for the 1995 Independence School District’s Teacher of the Year.

Prior to retirement in 1995, she taught elementary grades for thirty-four years, which included Independence, Missouri; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Baltimore, Maryland; and Baumholder, Germany.

She married her Bryant grade school sweetheart, Samuel K. Toomey III, in June, 1961. Major Toomey was Killed-In-Action (KIA) in November, 1968, and was carried as Missing-In-Action (MIA) for six years as a result of his helicopter being shot down during combat action in Laos. In July 1974, she married Captain David Carmichael Bland (US Army Reserve).

Joan was blessed with an inclusive spirit that reached out to all regardless of academic, economic, social, or ethnic status. The fact that she grew up in “The Neck” of the now McCoy neighborhood provided her with a high level of appreciation for all people, regardless of race or economic level. Joan and President Harry S Truman were second cousins through their common grandfather, Solomon Young.

Through the years Joan was active in numerous organizations, including National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR); Delta Kappa Gamma, an honorary teachers society; P.E.O.; Independence Retired Teachers Association; Mary Paxton Study Class; Independence Knife and Fork Club; Christian Women’s Club; Concerned Women for America; Gold Star Wives; Jackson County Genealogical Society; and Youth Friends.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, April 6th from 5pm-7pm at Speaks Suburban Chapel. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in Joan’s name to your favorite charity.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joan Bland (Paul), please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, April 6, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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