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Samuel Russell Bland died in Gloucester, Virginia, on March 10, 2023 at the age of 87. He was born in Lehman, Pennsylvania, on May 2, 1935 to Harvey and Eunice (Major) Bland. Sam grew up in Newport News, Virginia, graduating from Warwick High School in 1953. He earned a bachelor’s and doctorate degrees in mathematics and a master’s degree in physics.

While at Warwick High School, Sam met Margaret (Anne) Patten. They married in 1957 and before Anne passed away in November of 2021, they celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary. Sam and Anne settled in Yorktown, Virginia, living there from 1961 to 1993. Sam worked as an engineer for NASA in Hampton, Virginia, while Anne worked as a special education and elementary school teacher. Upon retiring they moved to Sandie Knowe Farm in Gloucester.

Sam had a passion for opera, cooking and bird-watching. Pursuing his interest of opera he traveled with Anne to Chicago, Seattle, and London to see Wagner’s Ring Cycle. For 25 years, Sam participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count, taking a census of the bird species spotted at Sandie Knowe.

Sam is survived by his daughter, Elisabeth; his son, Charles; his son, Joel (Kathleen); four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren, and his brother, Buddy.

A celebration of Sammy’s life will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, a donation in Samuel’s name may be made to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Andrews Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.