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Dr. William Joseph “Bill” O’Hara


William O'Hara
It is with heavy hearts that the family of Dr. William Joseph “Bill” O’Hara announce his unexpected death at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre in the early hours of the morning on December 4, 2020.

Bill was born in Toronto on April 18, 1950 to Peter and Stephanie O’Hara and was the eldest of eight children. He followed in his father’s footsteps, pursuing a career in medicine. He graduated from the University of Toronto in 1976, and was a recipient of the Cody Silver Medal -Rank #2, for top academic standing in med school. After completing his specialty training in Ottawa, he practiced as a Gastroenterologist in Toronto prior to moving to Thunder Bay in 2002. He was passionate about his chosen career and deeply cared about his patients and their well-being. He reluctantly retired from the practice of medicine in 2014 due to issues with his own health.

Bill was a hockey player in his youth and had a love for golf, which he passed along to his son Patrick. After suffering a heart attack in his early 30s, he went on to run and complete the 1985 Boston Marathon, one of his proudest life accomplishments. He and his wife Isobel travelled extensively and enjoyed spending time at their camp on Hawkeye Lake. He was well-read and could hold a conversation on almost any subject. What he didn’t know he would enthusiastically research, and the next time you spoke to him, Bill would talk your ear off about what he had learned.

Bill is survived by his wife Isobel, his children, Erin (Austin) and Patrick (Katarina) and grandchildren Juniper, Charlotte and Allison, stepchildren, Amanda (Malcolm) and Michael, and was “Grandpa Bill” to Thomas and Isabella. He is also survived by siblings, Timothy (Miranda), Stephen (Dorothy), Michelle, Eileen (Robin) and Joanne as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Bill was predeceased by his parents, Peter and Stephanie and siblings Peter and Denise. He will be missed by his fur babies, Oliver, Molly and Mischka.

The family would like to thank the first responders, Dr. Paul Yee and the staff at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre Emergency Department for their care and compassion during the early hours of the morning on December 4, and Dr. Chris Lai for his excellent care of Bill for the last 7 years. Special thanks to Dr. Andrej Habjan for not only his excellent care of Bill, but also his friendship with Bill over the years.

As per Bill’s wishes, cremation has taken place. A celebration of Bill’s life will be held in the summer of 2021 when family and friends are able to come together to honour his memory.

If family and friends so desire, donations can be made in Bill’s name to the TBRHSC - Our Hearts at Home Campaign or to a charity of their choosing.

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