Mary Elizabeth Bland (Mary Lib, Libby, ‘Bibby’) passed away peacefully on May 24, 2023, at the age of 98. She was born in Dupont, Indiana on December 7, 1924, the youngest of the five children of Russell and Elizabeth Bland.
Shortly after Libby’s birth, the Bland family moved to Wayne Township in Indianapolis. Libby grew up in Indianapolis and attended Ben Davis High School, and upon graduation she attended Franklin College, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta sorority. She excelled academically and socially at Franklin, and was the first member of the Bland family to graduate from college.
After graduation she trained in Chicago for a career as a flight attendant (then stewardess), but received an offer from Eli Lilly in Indianapolis where she spent her entire career, retiring from the personnel department in 1984.
In addition to her career at Lilly, Libby lived an interesting and adventurous social life. She enjoyed traveling, both internationally and in the States, visiting island locations such as Bermuda and the Bahamas, as well as the Grand Canyon, where she took a mule ride to the bottom of the canyon. She was an avid golfer, playing almost every summer weekend, and became a loyal IU fan, and enjoyed tailgating at the football games as well as attending their basketball games. When she retired from Lilly, Libby and her two close friends received a congratulatory video statement from then-coach Bob Knight.
Libby had many close friends who loved her, and she was an integral part of a large and loving family and was adored by her nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers & sister (Robert, William and Howard Bland, and Rachel Bland Sears). Libby is survived by 3 nephews, 5 nieces, and 26 great/great-great/great-great-great nieces and nephews. To borrow from her grandfather’s memorial, “she had reached old age, and old age is part of the scheme of life, which is designed to be beautiful from beginning to end. It is the close of a symphony, beautiful in its inception, rolling on grandly, and terminating in a climax of sublimity. It is harmonious and admirable, according to the scheme of nature.” Libby was a long time member of New Hope Christian Church, and services will be at 11:00 AM Saturday June 3, at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to New Hope Christian Church.