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Remembering Bill Tarry


By now I’m sure many of you have heard about the passing of our beloved brother Bill Tarry. I wanted to share some thoughts with you eloquently written by Dan Post as we deal with the loss of our friend, brother, husband, father, mentor, business partner / associate and all around great person.

Bill was an accomplished and honourable man in every aspect of his life. Beyond his innumerable successes and enviable list of experiences, the way in which Bill carried himself through this world was greatly admired by everyone he met.

His love and respect for other people was evident in his every action, and his words simply held more weight than the average person. He cared deeply for his family, his friends and his community, and he spent his whole life dedicated to their happiness and well-being.

Bill was exceedingly strong and an athletic force. e nicest guy you ever met, but not someone you wanted to line up across from on the rugby pitch or the football field during his days playing for the University of Guelph. He was a passionate outdoors enthusiast who shared his love of camping with multiple generations of family and friends. Deep into a backcountry paddling trip in Algonquin Park, Bill was the first one across the portage, with a canoe over his head and a loaded wooden box strapped to his back. And yet, he could be careful with a curling rock, precise with a puer, and graceful on the dance floor.

Bill saw parts of the world most of us can only dream of visiting. His final tally was 37 different countries with his wife, friend and soulmate Linda, with each place adding further to his curiosity and appreciation of other people and their cultures. In the heyday of his youth, Bill famously rode a motorcycle across Western Canada, hitchhiked across Europe and paddled halfway across Canada – a journey that started in Prince Rupert, BC, wound through the prairies, and finally ended near Lake Winnipegosis where only a winter’s freeze could stop his canoe. In the second act of his life, alongside his loving wife Linda, together they flew and drove and cruised around the world, stopping to smell the roses (and the wine) in countless exotic destinations.

Here in St. Thomas, Bill will be remembered most for what he gave back to the community and how he contributed so greatly its growth. rough his work as the long-time VP of Construction with Doug Tarry Limited and once President of the St. Thomas & Elgin Homebuilders’ Association, Bill was a tireless steward of quality craftmanship and an award-winning champion for innovation in the Canadian construction industry. Bill was very proud of his staff and his trades partners, and immensely proud of the many contributions that his family’s business has made to the well-being of the city.

Bill was magnanimous and mighty, caring and conscientious, and the downright funniest, most respectful human being you could ever know. We are all greater for having known him, and the world was truly a beer place with him in it. Wherever he is, he can rest easy knowing that he left no stone unturned, made no enemies, and truly gave it everything he had. We are all greater for having known him and he will be dearly missed.

Doug Tarry


[as told by Greg Tarry, Bill’s brother]

Bill, Mike (Atkinson) and I started the journey on the North Coast of British Columbia, in Prince Rupert on the Skeena River on June 1, 1972. We took the VIA rail train to Burns Lake on the Endako River, then headed east to the Nechako River.

We almost lost our gear on the Isle de Pierre Rapids, but we only swamped the canoe and then went to shore half-filled with water. After that episode, we went to Prince George for more food supplies. From there we portaged the summit between the Fraser and Parsnip rivers to meet the Finlay River, and then connected to the Peace River, which leads North to the Arctic Ocean via the Mackenzie River and South to the Pacific Ocean via the Fraser.

We canoed the newly-made Williston Lake, which had recently been created by the BC premier W.A.C. “Wacky” Bennett. Below the surface we saw a virgin forest now gone. We portaged around the W.A.C. Bennett Dam and set out again on the Peace until we got into more rapids. is time we rolled the canoe and hung onto the side for half an hour. Bill was the bowman and he’d managed to and a paddle. He rode the canoe upside down like he was breaking a mustang, and he got us to an island shore. As I floated alongside the canoe, the only thought in my head was the voice of a coxswain saying ‘Row. Row. Row’ in rhythm with the paddling cadence of my brother Bill.

That day we set up camp on this island and dried everything out. Later the next day, as we continued on we spotted a shiny tin and headed right for it. A can of peanut buer… 60 miles downstream from where we flipped! We had a late lunch of sardines, bannock and Jiffy.

Bill and Mike had to buy new boots, so they hitchhiked to Fort St. John in bare feet. Bill told me the salesman took one look at them and said, “I think I know what you want.” Bill always made us laugh.

We continued up the Peace River beyond Wood Buffalo National Park (Alberta), and on to Uranium City (Saskatchewan) on the north shore of Lake Athabasca. From there we made our way to the Fond du Lac River on the east end of the lake. We followed the river going upstream then portaged to the town on Wollaston Lake. After that we went southeast to Reindeer Lake, then on the Sturgeon Weir River, the Reindeer River, the Churchill River, and then on to Cumberland House where we carried over the Frog Portage* on the way.

We went to the Saskatchewan River through Flin Flon, Manitoba and then e Pas, Manitoba near Kelsey Lake (Just West of Lake Winnepegosis). Around September 20th, almost 4 months since the start of our journey, we got the train back to London and then home to St. Thomas.

*Frog Portage or Portage du Traite was one of the most important portages on the Voyageur route from Eastern Canada to the Mackenzie River basin. It allowed boatmen to move from the Saskatchewan River basin to the Churchill River basin. (Wikipedia


Overall the home purchase went exceptionally well. We are pleased with the home and do not have any complaints. If there were any small things that we were unhappy with the staff at Doug Tarry (both office and tradesfolks) were always polite, quick at getting back to us and very knowledgeable.

Gord and Karen

We loved the quality and building experience that we had with Doug Tarry Homes so much that we did it twice! From the quality of the construction, to the personalized help in making selections, we couldn’t have asked for more. Even after we took possession the follow up and communication to ensure that we were happy with our new home was thorough. We would definitely build with Doug Tarry homes again!

Ryan and Tara

We just wanted to let Mr. Tarry know that our experience with every single member of his team has been nothing but amazing.  We started looking for a new home 2 years ago and spoke to Amanda Joiner here in Strathroy at the open house.  We left her office that day 2 years ago and we knew DTH was a perfect company for us to trust with our future. Amanda made us feel  comfortable and she was very helpful in every step of the way.  We can’t say enough good things about her.  We bought one of your quick possession homes on Rushby St and could not be happier.  Jason took us through the house for our final inspection, and again he was amazing.  So friendly and informative.  Took his time going over everything and explaining it all and answering questions.  We also met Joe, I believe he is the site supervisor.  Joe, again so friendly and goes out of his way to make sure we where happy. Daryl and Laurie in your customer care centre are phenomenal.  They have been nothing short of amazing.  I’m sure you probably realize that you have an amazing team working for you but sometimes when you hear it from an outsider it means a little more.  So we applaud you Mr. Tarry for assembling such a great group of people to represent DTH.  They are doing an amazing job for you and treating all of your customers like they are family and we appreciate it.  Thank you to all at DTH for making our experience nothing but AMAZING.


Confidence in a Doug Tarry home knowing him, and his commitment-I don’t have to do much, he’s thought of it all!!

Another Happy Home Owner

This was our first time building a home. Doug Tarry Ltd made the experience enjoyable and so easy. Each member of the company was very approachable and easy to talk to. They took us step-by-step through the process of building a home and making our dreams come true. Thank you to the Doug Tarry group.

Jinder and Amy

My husband and I are retired seniors with very specific needs in mind for our retirement home. We found these and more in a Doug Tarry home in St. Thomas. From a well-designed floor plan to an exceptionally well-built house, we couldn’t be more pleased with our decision. Before, during and after the construction phase, the Tarry staff were extremely efficient and always ready to help with advice and recommendations. We’re very happy and comfortable in our new house. Well done Doug Tarry Homes!

Don & Kathy

Living in Nashville TN for just shy of 3 decades I decided to return to my hometown of St Thomas to semi retire.  I had never considered building a home especially with living at such a distance during a build.  Upon meeting Michelle at the showhouse in Miller’s Pond, visiting the décor centre with amazing choices and learning more about the quality and energy efficiency of Doug Tarry homes I jumped in with both feet during a week visit.  I purchased the lot, set my design choices in motion and left to wrap things up in Nashville leaving my build in the capable hands of Doug and his teams.  I opted for the Glenwood and from the day I moved in I haven’t had one moment of regret.  I’m so happy with every aspect of my home, the quality of the build and fabulous customer service. I love my new neighbourhood and have made some great friends.  Thank you for making my move a much smoother transition than I could hope for. 


I love my new semi home!  The transition from selling my family home to 3 Benjamin has been very pleasant and I owe that to the people I have come in contact with, especially Michele, Jason, Daryl, Lori and Elaine.  Your CoConstruct programme is very helpful and efficient.  Anything that needed to be addressed has had followup. 


As a family purchasing a new home, quality, comfort, energy efficiency & price were important to us. Doug Tarry Ltd. met and exceeded these needs.

Wayne, Angela & family

This home is everything we dreamed it would be. Fits our family’s needs perfectly.

Satisfied Doug Tarry Home Owner

I know that corners will not be cut, and the home will be built to last a lifetime

A Happy Home Owner

After purchasing many new builders homes, the Doug Tarry experience was by far the most enjoyable. With the team’s recommendations, ideas and perfectionism, we ended up with a home that far surpasses any of our expectations. When we woke up after the first night in our new home, we both looked at each other and said “this feels like home”. We have never had that feeling after the first night in any of our previous homes. After 6 months we still at times say to each other ” Man I love this house”. Great work Doug and crew.

Borot & Petra

We chose Doug Tarry Limited as the builder for our custom home because of their reputation for quality workmanship. Having our new home built at the same location as our current home we were able to witness first-hand the skill, quality, and pride of workmanship that each tradesman working on our home put into their work. We have had so many positive comments on the design and layout of our home, as well as the quality of the products used within the complete design. We cannot be happier with the finished product, and we highly recommend Doug Tarry Limited to anyone thinking of building a home.

Lisa and David

Our expectations of a new is exceeded by Doug Tarry (design-quality construction and workmanship) and an exceptional support staff

Happy Home Owner

Patty and I have purchased 4-new homes over the course of our evolving status; from raising two children to being empty-nesters. Without a doubt, Doug Tarry Homes has been ‘far and a way’ the most professional builder that we have had the pleasure to deal with. We’ve been very impressed with the quality and the attention to details with our home. The most obvious difference has been the professionalism of the Doug Tarry personnel. Their help and assistance through the various stages of the construction to the final delivery and accommodation with our move-in requirements was outstanding. The differences with Doug Tarry Homes continued throughout the immediate 12-month period after our move-in date by completing the scheduled follow-up items on a timely basis. I only wish that the customer satisfaction formula used by Doug Tarry Homes was utilized by other business enterprises.

Don and Pat

We have finally moved in over the weekend and are still settling in. I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to Doug Tarry Homes and especially you for helping us out and guiding us throughout the entire process.

We greatly appreciate all your sincere efforts in helping us build our dream home. On behalf of our family, thank you once again and I look forward to seeing you around!


Great experience through every stage of the process. Very knowledgeable and organized. Confident we are receiving a very high-quality home. Thanks DT Homes.

Happy Doug Tarry Home Owner

I knew our new house was energy efficient but not that much! At the time of construction, we decided to insulate the basement floor instead of me getting a cold storage cellar. We have a very efficient furnace with an ERV unit. It wasn’t that cold in December, but even with all the kids home for 2-3 weeks over Christmas, our gas bill was just under $40! Love it.

Shout out to Doug Tarry Homes for being a leader in the new home industry for wonderful construction and environmental consciousness.

Satisfied Customer

I’m now living in my second Doug Tarry built home. When I bought my first home, I wasn’t thinking about resale, but being able to advertise a “Doug Tarry built home” really gave me a selling advantage.

This current home is actually my fifth new home I’ve lived in. I wouldn’t hesitate to build again with Doug Tarry. The standards for the home – insulation, framing, kitchen, plumbing, etc – are very high compared with other builders. This allowed me to put some additional funds into some extras, such as recessed lighting and hardwood flooring. The Doug Tarry group work very much as a team, from the home plan design, interior selections to sod. You are very much supported in the entire building process, and the follow-up for any issues after you move in is excellent.


Our experience dealing with Doug Tarry Homes, from the moment we were greeted at the model home, to our closing date when we picked up our keys was a positive one! The decision to build with Tarry’s was easy because of their long standing reputation for quality, and a commitment to the environment. What was a bonus was the service orientation of all their staff. Questions and concerns were addressed quickly, the designer thoughtfully guided us through all our decorating selections, and all staff were courteous, friendly and genuinely cared. Without hesitation we would recommend building with DTL!

Rebecca and Gary

We were into our new house yesterday! What a wonderful surprise to see the welcome gift basket!! We have been so impressed all along with Doug Tarry homes, from the people (you!), the quality of the house, the design, the materials, the basement, the air and temperature of the house, everything!! Liam used to build houses and he has been blown away by everything we’ve seen and experienced with Doug Tarry homes. He’s not easily impressed either and has a keen critical eye and he is over the top happy with everything, as am I. So a big thank you Michele, for everything. You’ve been so patient with us right from the beginning, when we first showed up over a year ago when we first started looking at the area in St Thomas.

Trish and Liam

Thank you Doug Tarry Homes for our wonderful home. Throughout the planning and building stages we found everyone we dealt with to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful. Any concerns or issues were promptly dealt with in a professional manner. The quality of our home, both inside and outside, is exceptional. (Even after one year we haven’t found a nail pop!) You go the extra mile and it shows. We would not hesitate to recommend Doug Tarry Homes to anyone.

Heather and Gary