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Jozef Tara Jr.

Date of Death: April 29, 2021

Date of Birth: July 6, 1944


Joe died peacefully on April 29th, 2021 in his home on the New Meadows River in West Bath, one of the many wonderful homes he had designed and built over the past 45 years for the family he loved and cared for so fully: his wife Nan, children Laela and Jaben, Jaben's wife Veronica, and beloved granddaughters Juliana and Alessandra. They share the overwhelming sadness of losing him but treasure the gift of having him as a husband, father, grandfather "Buppa", and forever a source of so much love and kindness.The grace and resilience of his brave fight to stay with them defined his endless caring for others, with his family at the center of his life always.

Born to Geraldine Morrison Tara and Jozef Tara on July 6th, 1944, Joe was the older brother to Alex and Lance Tara. A true Mainer, he spent almost all of his life here, enjoying a great childhood surrounded by a huge extended family, with summers on Maine lakes filled with endless freedom and adventures. After his early schooling in Bangor, in 1962 he headed to the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating with a degree in Architecture and Industrial Design, the foundation of his career in designing and building furniture, cabinetry, and then on to houses.

After college he became a Vista Volunteer and headed to Alaska for two years, working with the indigenous Eskimo people. Upon finishing he returned to Maine, and never really left the state again other than a five year adventure when he and Nan moved to New Mexico,
allowing him to try his hand at Southwestern design, winning awards in the process. But his love of Maine brought them back, and his life has been spent designing and sometimes building residences for clients up and down the coast of Maine, where he was happiest.

Joe enjoyed people and made friends easily, forming close relationships with the clients he worked for as well as the many folks who worked for and with him - carpenters, masons, plumbers, electricians, painters, excavators. He loved and valued them all. When Joe designed and built a house for you he made a deep commitment of his time and energy and his heart. He designed homes, not houses, and they are treasured by their owners who often became Joe's good friends. Every detail always mattered to Joe, in all parts of his life, and people responded
to that.

Never ones to do much sitting around, Joe and Nan loved being creative partners, landscaping each new house, rock moving, digging, gardening, building fences and sheds and docks, always playing with new designs. They loved to travel, bringing home bits and pieces and new ideas.

Joe loved being outdoors, especially sailing and exploring on the water in his boats. An accomplished skier, he shared that love with Laela and Jaben. They were mentored in so many skills by him, and although exacting, he was generous with his praise and adored watching their amazing lives evolve.

Joe will be more than missed. His enthusiasm and joy of life were a major source of energy for the whole family and his love for us was so rock solid. He has left an empty space that can only be filled with the endless memories of wonderful years together, cut much too short but full of love right to the end. 

We hope to gather on July 6th to celebrate Joe's birthday with all those who so loved him, given a warm day and a safe way to be together.

Endless thanks to our dear friend and doctor, Carl Demars, and to all of Hospice care but especially Sue Jones, who became family in every wonderful way.

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