December 3, 1930 ~ February 5, 2019
Born in: Shreveport, LA
Resided in: Denver, CO
Itaska Bland Wilson was born December 3, 1930 in Shreveport Louisiana to her parents, Harrison Monroe and Alice James. She was the only child of this union. Itaska was raised by her grandmother Luevenia James. She received her early education at Booker T. Washington High School, Shreveport Louisiana. Itaska loved sports and played on the High School basketball team. After moving to Denver Colorado, she attended Emily Griffin and studied shorthand. She continued her education by attending Metropolitan State College. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education. In 1976, Itaska furthered her academic accomplishments and obtained her master’s degree in Elementary Education.
On October 21, 1950 in Denver Colorado, Itaska united in marriage to Oscar Bland Sr. From this union they had seven children. Several years later, she united in married with James C. Wilson Sr. and from this union they had one child.
Itaska was a devoted and loyal chartered member of Antioch Baptist Church, 2500 Lafayette St, Denver, Colorado 80205 for over
50 years. Itaska loved the Lord and instilled this same value in her eight children, who attended Sunday school and church with her every Sunday. Itaska sang in the church choir and loved gospel music. Itaska spared no expense when it came to the adorning her Sunday’s best. She was known for often sporting beautiful suits and hats.
By profession, Itaska was an educator. In 1966 she began her career as an Early Childhood Education/Kindergarten paraprofessional at Gilpin Elementary School. In 1975 she completed student teaching at Mitchell Elementary School. She taught the Sixth grade at Smedley Elementary School, subsequently Itaska went on to teach for many more years within Denver Public Schools. In 1982, Itaska retired from Denver Public Schools. She became an entrepreneur by establishing her own licensed child care business and named it ‘Taska’s Tots’. In 1990 Itaska, became the founder and owner of ‘Early Success Academy, Preschool and Head Start Center in Denver Colorado. Itaska received several certificates of achievements, awards and honors. She was an Avon Representative for over 30 years a member of the President’s Club.
Itaska was a God fearing and loving woman, who loved the Lord, enjoyed life and family. Being an expert baker, she’d bake a cake for each and every family member in celebration of their birthday. In her spare time, Itaska love to bowl, play BINGO, watch game shows, be outdoors in the park, and what really made her happy was family. Itaska had a keen sense of humor and passed on her hilarious wit to all of her family as well as her striking cheekbones. Itaska bragged of her many grand and great-grandchildren. She would always offer anyone in her home something to eat because of her giving heart and an Avon gift. She was very social and smiled with her heart. In later years Itaska embraced her older years often telling people, “The only way to stay young is to die”. If asked her age she would say, “58” and then say, “Now turn it around”!
Itaska Bland Wilson departed this life to the embrace of the Lord on February 5, 2019 in Denver, Colorado surrounded by her family. Those left to cherish her memory and mourn the loss are her three daughters and four sons; Luevenia Bland-Yarber (Melven Yarber Sr.), Alicestine Bland-Roberson, Oscar Bland Jr., David Bland Sr., Diana Bland-Gadison (Kenneth Gadison), John Bland, and James C. Wilson, Jr., of Denver Colorado. Jacqueline Bland preceded her in death. Itaska did all for her eight children and lovingly referenced them by their numerical chronological order. She also leaves behind over fifty-grand, great-grandchildren, and many friends and associates. Lastly, she was kind, loving, generous, and forgiving. Never held a grudge or sought to be a seeker of revenge. Itaska was a true keeper of the peace. If any of us could become just a fraction of who she was, our lives would be a true testament in her honor.
Visitation: February 8, 2019 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Pipkin Braswell Chapel of Peace
6601 Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80220