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In Loving Memory ~

Joseph (Joe) Christopher Thyagaraj Dhara passed away quietly in his sleep at home on his 91st birthday with his loving wife Elisabeth (Lisa) by his side.

Born on September 27, 1932, in Ongole, India, as the eldest son with seven other siblings, Joe loved to learn.

He knew that education and knowledge would be his path to success. He obtained a master's degree in chemical engineering and went on to work in the oil fields of Saudi Arabia in the late 1950s for Aramco, one of the world's largest oil companies.

While there, he settled in Dhahran, where he met Lisa. Lisa was from Germany and Joe had to learn German to converse with her parents and make any headway in their courtship. He quickly mastered the language (...possibly in record time) and eventually, he became as fluent in German as he was in English; this added to his list of accomplished languages which included Telugu, some Hindi, and Arabic.

Passionate about his family, Joe worked hard as he fought racial discrimination. Through his hard work and sacrifice, not only was he able to send his family in India money (which was enough to put three of his siblings through medical school, help the others with their careers, and care for his parents), but he also cared for his own young family.

Together with his wife Lisa (with whom he recently celebrated his 56th wedding anniversary), they had two children, Jacqueline and Tares. His family was his joy in life, and he did everything he could to provide them with opportunities.

Joe was a self-taught musician and became the lead guitarist in one of the few community bands in Dhahran. He also had a great love for the skills and strategies associated with the game of football (i.e., soccer), as a player and eventually a coach. His love of coaching and developing opportunities for youth was evident as he helped found the Aramco Youth Soccer Organization and the first Little League baseball organization in Dhahran.

With family in tow, Joe and Lisa fled the looming war in the Middle East and immigrated to Canada in the late 1980s. They settled in the mountains near Penticton where Joe ultimately succumbed to retirement. He was proud to be a Canadian and loved the outdoors, the Okanagan heat, the mountains, and the never-ending shoveling of snow.

Joe's greatest pride later in life was his four grandchildren (Caylum, Jaedyn, Keegan, and Tieran) and he considered himself blessed to be able to live near them. Joe attended every soccer, fastpitch, basketball, swimming event, school concert, birthday, and grandkid activity that he could. He was a proud Opa.

As a brilliant man, he had a wicked sense of humor. He thoroughly enjoyed cheating (poorly) at cards, scrabble, and whatever other game presented the opportunity in jest... but he was unable to keep a straight face... slowly his grin would erupt into a full laugh at how he had "almost" gotten away with something!

Following a successful battle with cancer, and a less successful battle with dementia, Joe and Lisa moved in with Jacqueline, Chris (her husband), and the four grandkids (the Foley family) in the early 2000s, making Summerland his last stop on the travel train.

If you were lucky enough to know him, you would know that he left a mark in this world. Always thirsting for knowledge, striving for equality, and trying to make himself a better human so he could help others. He will be missed and in the hearts of those he touched, forever.

A small private Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Condolences may be left at


 Providence Funeral Homes

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