Dr. Robert Purdy Bland Jr. died on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018, in Charleston.
He was born on Jan. 5, 1933, in Sumter, a son of Robert Purdy Bland and Allene Carroll Bland of Sumter. Dr. Bland was married for 58 years to Adele "Dee" Livaudais Wadick of New Orleans.
He is survived by his wife and three sons, Robert P. Bland III of Atlanta, Myles Curtis Perrin Bland and his wife, Susan, and Kingsland Wadick Bland and his wife, Rebie, and their children, King and Marlee, all of Charleston.
Robert graduated his junior year from Edmunds High School in Sumter. He graduated with honors from the University of South Carolina in 1953, where he was president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and a member of the Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies. Robert received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in 1957. He then continued medical training at Charity Hospital in New Orleans, where he met his wife-to-be, Dee. They were married on April 18, 1959. Dee and Robert then moved to Evreux, France, where Robert served as a captain with the U.S. Air Force from 1959 to 1962.
Robert received his post-graduate medical training at Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto, California, where he served as chief resident in ophthalmology. After practicing for several years in Columbia, Robert and Dee returned to Sumter, where he started Sumter Eye Associates in 1968. He was in the private practice of ophthalmology for more than 30 years and served as chief of staff at Tuomey Hospital. Robert served on the vestry of the Church of the Holy Comforter. He was an avid bird hunter and started the St. Charles Dove Club. He enjoyed classical music and history, and was a founding member of the first chapter of the International Wine and Food Society (IWFS) in South Carolina. He maintained his love of travel throughout his life, returning to France on multiple occasions with his family, as well as to the beaches of North Carolina during the summer months.
Following his retirement in 1998, Robert and Dee moved to Kiawah Island. Robert was an avid tennis player, enjoyed swimming and walking on the beach, as well as attending the Charleston Symphony and Spoleto.
The family will celebrate his life with a memorial service and reception at 1 p.m. on Wednesday at Bishop Gadsden Chapel, 1 Bishop Gadsden Way, Charleston, SC 29412.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Parkinson's Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014 or the Bishop Gadsden Charitable Fund, 1 Bishop Gadsden Way, Charleston, SC 29412.
Arrangements by J. Henry Stuhr Inc., Downtown Chapel.
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