Mary Bland passed away peacefully on Friday at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse. True to her style, her ninth life ended on her 88th birthday, March 11, 2022. A proud resident of the Tipperary Hill neighborhood of Syracuse, Mary was the daughter of the late Gertrude and Arthur McCarthy. She was further predeceased by her brother, Arthur McCarthy, her cousin, Thomas LaFlair, her daughter, Patricia “Patti” Bland, and former husband Liam Bland, with whom she had five daughters.
Though Mary worked for many years at the Addis Co department store and Choices Daycare, the job she was most proud of was raising her five girls. Her greatest joy in life was watching her daughters become happy, successful women. Though she never retired from that role, she later took on new responsibilities as a devoted grandmother to eight grandchildren. In her later years, Mary moved to the Bishop Ludden Apartments, where she made many friends. She was a devout Catholic and a lifelong member of St. Patrick’s Parish in Syracuse.
Mary loved meeting new people, and had the wonderful gift of being able to talk to anyone, about anything, at any time. She was a talented storyteller, and even if you’d heard the story a time or two (or three), it was just as enjoyable as it had been the first time. Mary had an uncanny ability of knowing exactly when someone needed a phone call, and her sixth sense helped countless family members and friends through tough times. Mary enjoyed reading and had a soft spot for her many grand dogs and cats. She never shied away from ordering dessert at a restaurant, and was proud to be a redhead until the end.
Mary is survived by her daughters: Deborah Schain (Robert), Brenda Joyce, Mary Lee Berg (Lawrence), Susan Bland-Medicis (Daniel), former brother-in-law Thomas J. Bland and former son-in-law, Jason Joyce. She is further survived by her grandchildren: Harry Schrefer, Kelly Borst, Ryan Schain (Maria), Corey Schain (Jessica), Katherine Joyce, Christopher Joyce, Thomas Bland, and Joseph Medicis. She will be missed by Alanna Kunz (Michael), for whom she was like a second mother, and many others who loved her dearly.
Visitation will be held from 4 PM to 7 PM on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at Edward J. Ryan and Son Funeral Home, 3180 Bellevue Ave., Syracuse. Mary’s service will be held at 10 AM on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at St. Patrick’s Church, 216 N. Lowell Ave., Syracuse. Christian burial at a later date at St. Agnes Cemetery, 2315 South Avenue, Syracuse.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the National Kidney Foundation.