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In Memoriam --  Tarry H. Davis (T-13) 

Tarry H. Davis (T-13) died in Norfolk Virginia on 31 August, 2015. Tarry was born in La Porte, Indiana and attended Valparaiso University. After college Tarry joined the Peace Corps and trained at the University of Texas. He served two years as TEFL teacher in the Antalya Lisesei, and then taught an additional year at Middle East Technical University also as an English teacher. Tarry also helped with in-country training of the new volunteers. Following Peace Corps, he completed a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Syracuse, during which time he was a management intern with USAID in New Delhi.

Following completion of his MPA, Tarry worked for several years for World Education, non-profit which conducted literacy programs in India, Burma and other countries.  Subsequent career milestones included stints as restaurant owner, direct marketing manager and international consultant. Tarry established customer service call centers in the Philippines, Ireland and the Caribbean. He also worked as a consultant for a large Korean corporation in Seoul.

A gregarious person with a large personality, Tarry leaves many friends who will miss him.

Cathryn Goddard (T-9) contributed this epitaph from Celaluddin al-Rumi the famous Persian Sufi poet which is appropriate for a memory of Tarry:

“When I die seek me not (in) the tomb, (but) find me in the hearts of those whose lives I touched.”

Tarry's Bio from the Turkey 13 Memory Book


The Rumi epitaph totally brought tears to my eyes.   Thanks so much for the forward.  ps.  I just re-read Tarry's bio.  What an amazing life and contributor to the world.  I noted how he deemphasized his diagnosis-just a little mention.      -- Linda Budan

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I had spoken with Tarry about the quote, by the way, and he really liked it.  

Rumi was indeed a master who's brought tears to many eyes and thereby touched many hearts. or maybe he touched the hearts and that brought the tears. Probably a bit of both.  – Cathryn Goddard

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It is with regret that I must inform you of the death of Tarry Davis, one of our T-13 colleagues and a stronger supporter of Akadaslar. Tarry died of kidney failure and other complications in Norfolk on 31 August. I have attached a brief notice which I would appreciate  if you could send it out to all Arkadaslar. Thank you.

Gene Zajac

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Dear Arkadaslar,

Sadly, I'm sharing notice that Tarry Davis, T-13, has died.  The world has lost an edge of its richness, and it is our loss. 


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Years ago, a business trip took me to New Orleans, and I took the opportunity to get in touch with Tarry.  I could not have wished for a more gracious host.  

It was great fun revisiting our PC experiences while enjoying life in the Big Easy.   Now that he is gone, I look back on that visit with great appreciation. 

Jim McHenry

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ah, i do miss tarry. i was fortunate he visited me in washington this past may.   

we really had a nice weekend, walking probably too much for him, but he went for some great exhibits on the mall, including the hirshhorn museum and an iranian artist, plus eastern market, bagels and cheeses.  am glad we had that time together.  i thought he had a website, but can't find where his address was.  he had a lot of turkey pics. we had quality time at the 2011 reunion too, including the dinner together.  

after so much cancer treatment over the past 15 or more years, i should not be surprised, but it's took me aback having seen him recently.  we planned to travel in turkey by train to eastern places we hadn't yet visited. 

tarry was a big fan of simit and during my earlier trip this july to istanbul warned me not to write about them, but to by all means to indulge in several thinking of him.  i did my best!  

Cathryn Goddard

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Thank you for passing on the information about Tarry's death. I have good memories of Tarry from our training in Austin and the few times I had an opportunity to meet in Ankara. From the biography of Tarry, it appears that he continued his Peace Corps mission throughout his life and that he lived a life which inspires us all. Thank you again for passing this sad information on and for all of the efforts that you make to keep us in touch.

Andy Coughlin

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we got together with those who arrived at the hotel early, and we spent that first evening with a group from our group at the hotel.  steve poppick and i were organizing our turkey 10 party to be held at my home. after that we were going to get together in cairo and we didn't pull that one off, but we were bonded.  he read a lot of my text and i'd call from overseas.  wonderful discussions about books and dreams of train trips in turkey.  the recurring chemo treatments were not lost on me but sometimes dreams are what make chemo treatments bearable.  am very glad we got to know each other again outside of antalya.  i really admired tarry for reaching out to josh (was it josh who taught at metu and spoke of the great unwashed in villages?)  never mind.  tarry treated him with respect and heard him out, not just dismissing him.  i admired him for that. it takes no skill to be judgmental.  it takes skill to listen with an open mind.


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when steve poppick and i were first based in a village where we learned turkish and community networks.  we were too isolated being parked there (though we learned the skills that allowed us to work in turkey), so steve moved  to antalya  (with the miracle wheat program?) and i to the kaza korkuteli (setting up revolving credit programs with the agricultural director). i became gene's neighbor. even before we moved in we all  _____in antalya,  we all visited tarry, david and bob in the big city, antalya, as well as michael cox (child car) and later fred and his wife, tourism volunteers.  

before we arrived, turkey 9 had been there a year, though steve and i from turkey 10 had trained at the same time with them in portland (we trained after our junior year, (peace corps discontinued that more expensive training though we did test out with higher language scores at end of program).  dan leahy was in the kaza working with the ag director, and anne boylon and jim wolf lived in the village.  

happy to have written this down.  preserving a part of our history.  

my late husband and i stayed with gene's family when we first went to chicago and we celebrated many holidays with them.  his parents and brothers were wonderful with us. gene is tarry's executor.  – Cathryn Goddard

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Great guys, all of them.  I was assigned alone to go out to Gaziantep.  Result was that I didn't get to know everyone quite so well. In recent decades, Tarry and I learned to work together, thanks to Arkadaslar, the directory and the listserv.  At this point in life, we were bonded.  Certainly now my loss.  But we did gather that dinner at the 50th reunion. – Sandy Anderson

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Tarry was an active participant on the list-serve of course, and I always found him to be very well informed and persuasive in his views. I will miss him here and the opportunity to meet him at one of our reunions. Rest in Peace Tarry – Mike Jewell 

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I am a pack rat of sorts so was able to come up with the summer 1966 Turkey 13 TEFL directory of those who studied at Austin that summer.  Al Gall, Peggy Gall Hanson, George Park, John Wintrol and Mugs and I as returned volunteers from Turkey 1 and 2 helped with training that summer.  Initially, when Gene Zajac announced Tarry's death, I remembered Tarry best from his extremely valuable comments on Arkadaslar particularly those on politics as well as his knowledge of how to combat spam on our list serve.  Reviewing the directory, however, brought back many memories of that summer and the contributions Tarry made to the group.  Losing friends such as John [Gallivan] and Tarry makes it all the more important that we seize every opportunity to stay in touch with each other and celebrate our mutual past and the pleasures we still take in each other’s company.   Chuck and Mugs Mast Turkey 2

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Chuck Mast, I need to apologize for saying earlier that I didn't know Tarry.  I now remember more about his contributions during the 1966 training, though I had a one-year-old Anne that summer and was pregnant with Jeff, so quite a lot slipped past me!  I do remember the day the sniper started shooting from the U of Texas tower just as we all emerged from practice teaching all over the campus.  I was in one of the closest buildings to the tower.  A row of us (women) were standing in a row on the front porch pointing up and saying, "There's somebody up there.  I can see a gun!"  Some man screamed, "Get down, get down, that's a telescopic lens!"  I made a particularly large target that summer but still managed to get behind a row of cars.  Dave Weinman and Mike Jewell were in town to oversee the training, so they were behind cars, too.  Allan and I made our way along the cars (not smart, since we learned later that the sniper liked moving targets), went around the corner, got our car and went to pick up Anne at a childcare place.  We had the radio on.  They were frantically pleading, "Will everyone please stop shooting at the tower?  The police are trying to approach the area."  Though it was a terrible day (and I believe a volunteer trainee from a different program was actually one of those killed), that story has always brought a smile to my face.  Texas!!!!!  Almost as filled with guns as Yemen.

I am so appreciative of your comments about living the day, enjoying the moment, Chuck.  And it is also important to remember our friends.  Nothing is more valuable. Peggy Hanson

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For those of you who don't have the T-13 "memory book" we produced a few years ago, I attach Tarry's pages as PDFs. His contribution to the book revealed him to be quite a character, with a lively, irreverent sense of humor.  I wish I had met him.  Dale Evans

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Those two pages from the T-13  "memory book"  serve as a tribute to Tarry.  What an interesting, up-beat life.  I remember him that way.  Dale, thanks for sharing this with us.  Donna Chmara

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Tarry's Bio from the Turkey 13 Memory Book