One of the worlds greatest Uncles

As a little girl, I had a fairy tail child hood I have spoke about it time and time again. During that time I was fortunate enough to have an extremely close extended family, we vacationed and camped together, we were together nearly every weekend, and we made amazing memories. The bond that existed between My dad and his family was amazing and it truly taught me how to love at a different level. My dad is best friends with his two brothers and was the middle of them making us very close to both. The family was raised with a love for nature and especially fishing. Many of our family outings were going to Ludington were we would camp and the brothers would fish all morning then come back at lunch and we would swim, have camp fires and play as a family. We had many laughs and most were lead by my Uncle Tim. He was the entertainer of the family, he even chose a profession that fit in with this personality, he very often lead the family in jokes. I have so many memories of my Uncle playing jokes on people or video taping interviews with his kids, nieces and nephews. He had the first video camera and loved using it. I also had the privilege to be able to have Uncle Tim as a high school teacher. Many of you may know him as the amazing talented Band Director for Holt Tim Parry. Last night as word came in that my Uncle Tim was not doing well after a long battle with his Kidneys, and the fact he had contracted a Bacteria which was killing him by infecting his whole body my thoughts turned to all the amazing times I was fortunate to share with him. On January 5th my parents had once again traveled with Tim and Ann for three weeks to Florida to escape the cold of Michigan and so Tim and Dad could do some fishing. Little did anyone know that this is where Tim would be in for the fight of his life after just a few days of vacation. Any way back to last night I laid in my bed all night not sleeping but thinking and praying for my Uncle. As my mind would start to pray I would immediately go to a favorite memory of mine and they were all having to do with Uncle Tim.

This morning I reached out to mom to see if there had been any changes and she had heard nothing yet. After 30 minutes I received the heart breaking news that my beloved Uncle had lost his fight. His Wife, and children Leanne and Michael were with him as well as my dad. There are no words for the sorrow and grief everyone has in the family currently. But again I thought if only the world knew what an enormous loss this was. I guarantee if you Knew Tim you had a hilarious story involving him. My girls have known how sick Uncle Tim has been for a week and cried all last night and this morning before school because of the fear of losing such a pivotal part of our family they were drawn to tears. They were also close to Tim as he lived just down the streets from Grandma and Grandpa and they were able to visit him a lot. As I was trying to comfort the girls I started to tell funny stories to them “Do you remember the story when Uncle Tim” and I told story after story and Had a hundred more I could have shared.

I thought maybe that was the best way to share his life with you all. Parry’s do you remember being in Ludington at Lamens Landing and invading the swimming pool? My dad and Uncles were doing tricks off the diving board and we were all roaring with laughter, when Uncle Tim decided he was going to dive through his daughter Leanne’s little floating inter-tube. No one thought this was possible, he went up in a grand dive and a huge wave swept the pool pushing us back. He had taken on the tube and did make it almost all the way through., when he emerged from the water the tube was around his waist still and he had popped it. We all laughed so hard except for Leanne who was devastated her dad had broke her ring and stood crying. Or Do you remember the story of poor smokey the cat? Or the story of planting hot dogs under tents? Most recently while at my Uncle Tim’s for the MSU’s big win in the Cotton Bowl game did you hear the CVS message? Or if you were in Band do you remember the story of the “family that plays together stays together”? Wow there are so many more hilarious and fun stories. If you have a story and would love to leave a comment we encourage you to do so, or if you heard one of the stories listed or had the privileged of being part of it you also are dealing with a large loss. I am privileged to have this amazing man in my life for all that was taught and all the times he made me smile and laugh. I was loved by a great man and will never forget hearing him play his trumpet and dancing all night when he was playing with J&J sounds, or singing out on his boat  to the band Chicago or Build me up Buttercup or Rawhide. I wish I could have hugged you Uncle Tim and told you all you meant to me and how lucky I am to have had you in my life. A great void will forever be in our family, but we all know you are in a better place.

A memorial service is being held February 8th at 1:00pm. It will take place at Eagle Eye Golf Course located at 15500 Chandler Rd. Bath MI 48808.

Also an Alumni band is getting together, if you would like more information email me at or go to:



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27 responses to “One of the worlds greatest Uncles

  1. Rebecca

    Rest in peace Mr Perry. You have touched so many lives

  2. A single bright spot in the world is gone…I will always remember you. The light show was the best night of the year for me from sixth grade all the way through 12th. The big band trip to Washington D.C. and Florida…I hope to one day see you again and hear your trumpet.

  3. Teresa Powell/Sonnenberg

    Best band Teacher/Mentor any child can ask for! Holt High Band was better when He taught it! R.I.P 😦

  4. Erica

    Mr. Parry, thanks for being apart of some of the best memories of my life. One of the greatest teachers for sure. You were always kind and patient. Above all, you made us laugh and love band as much as you did. Rest in peace.

  5. Michelle (Cochran) Granzow

    I had the pleasure of having Tim Parry as a band director for two years in high school- back when he was at Portland. Always full of energy. My prayers are with all family and friends during this difficult time.

  6. JOHN Graham

    My number 1 first cousin and we shared so much as youngsters and playing cowboys and indians in the woods out near Dimondale,, getting i n trouble stealing my dads firecrackers, building forts{getting in more trouble,{growing up in a small Religios sect{Yahweh} and going seperate ways, Tim to College and me to the Nam.He had so much talent and practiced so hard, loved listening to Him play in the Assembly and when he was a teacher became one of the Best Band leaders in the Mid/Michigan area.One of his students is my son,He was an accomplidhed Drummer and in Bands around Mid Michigan and took the news very Hard,He now{joshua} is in a Christian contempory Band{Miller Road Band in the Traverse area see music of theirs on you tube}just another example of how one life can make such a huge difference in today’s society.And his work in and around Marshall Music was awesome and so many friends there and my wife also{the operator}….

  7. Linda Nevins

    well Tim did not only teach in Holt, he also taught in Portland I was fortunate to have him as my private lesson teacher and as a band teacher from 6-12th grade. On our band trip to Fl we were at a motel next door to wet-n-wild in Orlando. the day we were slated to go to wet-n-wild was April 1 1983. he told us that we all had to come out to the pool area in our uniforms for our trip pictures. when everyone got out to the pool he and the rest of the Chaperones said “April Fools” jumped the fence and ran across the field to the park . He left us standing there in our uniforms laughing at us all!!

  8. Linda Nevins

    I’m sorry it was April 1, 1984

  9. He was an amazing man! He also led the Portland Michigan bands for years in to great times where being a part of band spaned quiet wall flowers to quarterbacks. From musicians who would continue in the same tradition of directing bands across the state like my uncle Russ to people who just got a chance to appreciate music. He was the reason I was in band and travelled to Europe to perform in an international jazz band, why I have a standard in leadership of both excellence and compassion. He still is the standard in Portland for what Marching band looks like and aspire too.

    He will be missed…..

  10. Reblogged this on Driving With God and commented:
    He was an amazing man! He also led the Portland Michigan bands for years in to great times where being a part of band spaned quiet wall flowers to quarterbacks. From musicians who would continue in the same tradition of directing bands across the state like my uncle Russ to people who just got a chance to appreciate music. He was the reason I was in band and travelled to Europe to perform in an international jazz band, why I have a standard in leadership of both excellence and compassion. He still is the standard in Portland for what Marching band looks like and aspire too.

    He will be missed…..

  11. Jill Swagart Malusek

    RIP, Tim… he was a mentor, friend, and colleague! I had the privilege of getting to know him in the Michigan Lions All-State Band, first as one of the directors (I was a student, played percussion, but was often on his bus for bus trips), then as a fellow instructor. I always got my best jokes from him. We would sit in the staff room at the school and collaborate on jokes. Still saw him periodically after we parted ways with the MLASB, and it was always great to see him and Ann and talk. What a multi-talented man, and all around great person! I was very sad to hear this news. But I will always have him in a special place in my heart. To Parry’s Barf Bus!! (Lions Band reference)

  12. Patricia Wilson Hopkins

    He was such an amazing teacher , I loved Band because of him ..Portland wasn’t the same with out him …condolences to his family

  13. Tonya Leik

    I had the pure pleasure of having Mr. Parry has my band director while at Portland High School. Mr. Parry was an amazing person, so funny and talented. You will live on in our memories. My thoughts and prayers are with the family

  14. Tim

    Heartbroken at the news today. He spoke life into me (and countless others). He gave such confidence to me – a timid, insecure teenager. He treated us with dignity and was a truly enjoyable person to be around. He has always been a top example when I talk to my own kids about the power of believing in someone and giving chances to succeed. He will be missed. I am so sad for your family Tera. Terrible loss.

  15. Sue Mutty

    This is a beautiful and loving tribute to your Uncle Tim. I’m sure he’s appreciating it now from his special place in heaven.

  16. Mr Parry was an awesome inspiration to me and I was one of his more troublesome students…he never gave up on me and I will always respect him. The only time he was not happy or smiling was when he had me in his office sternly but not too harshly making sure I knew what I did was wrong but at the same time giving me the encouragement that a young man needed to hear. Thank you Mr Parry for being so much more than a teacher to me and to thousands of other youths who were so lucky to have shared you in our lives.

  17. Rich Dula

    Tim Parry was my trumpet instructor starting in 5th Grade at Oakwood Elementary in Portland, MI. I was under his direction for two years, then again for four years at Portland High School, including the 1988 California Band Trip, marching band, concert band and jazz band (stage band). Based on his teaching (and making music fun), I received a music scholarship at Albion College. And as we approach our 25th reunion of the PHS Class of 1990, I’m still playing my trumpet (and I still have the Barton cornet I started with back at Oakwood).

    There are so many memories of Tim. Memorial Day taps on the old bridge downtown Portland. Cramming as many folks into his van as we could on the way back from the practice fields at MSU during band camp. I just watched the video of the 1988 California Band Trip, and watched him walk beside us as we played “Firestar”. Having fun during PHS basketball games. Going to MSU to play pep music during the winter break games at the Breslin Center. MSU High School Band Day. Tim playing two trumpets at once, out of each corner of his mouth. Playing a saxophone and Inflating a plastic bread bag he’d rubber-banded over the bell, calling it “Safe Sax”. And the list goes on.

    Thank you, Mr. Parry, for the years of memories and music. Thank you for your guidance and counsel. Thank you for being a role model and a friend.

  18. So many memories, each one of us had him and my brother was the source of many of his what not to do in band, I can still recall walking into homeroom and hearing him say to me, “do you know what your brother did last night?”

  19. My favorite teacher at Portland Middle and High Schools. He was such a more approachable and nice band director than the previous one. He saw me learn the saxophone, perform with Amy Spurgeon’s sax combo for Christmas music at the mall, compete for 1st chair with Tracy Seldon in middle school and Rhonda Sandborn in high school. I got to be section leader after the graduation of Mike Ward, and truly loved the man. I watched how he worked with student teachers Jerri Krause and Tony Shapow. I even got invited to play in a band with him at Fabiano’s restaurant as a senior with Jerri Krause, Jenny Hamlin, and Ted Alberta. He was an excellent band director, trumpet player, and so good with us kids, from our younger years through our adult ones. Wished he hadn’t moved away to Holt. I would have enjoyed knowing him as an adult. Rest Mr. Parry. We love you. Take a bow as you look on us all still here.

  20. Emily

    I never knew Mr. Parry, but Mrs. Parry was my first grade teacher and to this day is one of my favorites! I am so sorry for your family’s loss. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

  21. Julie Hancock

    I was a band mom, and so fortunate to have worked with Mr Parry for three years. He really cared about the band kids and all kids, and always made everyone feel welcome. His best phrase “Early is on Time” , it just sticks with me. Tim you will be and are very missed.

  22. Kerrie (Selden) Kraft

    You were and awsome teacher, touched so many people’s lives. You will greatly be missed. Prayers for your family. RIP Mr. Perry.
    May the heavens trumpets be playing on your arrival.

  23. Mary

    I also had him for band in Portland. Great man and taught me alot. Rest in peace Mr. PerryMary. Thoughts and prayers to the Perry family

  24. Scott Cuttle

    I’m sorry for the loss of your Uncle, but I appreciate sharing the news.

    Mr. Parry was Portland’s Band director for many years before leaving to work in Holt. We were sad to see him leave. Many of us have very fond memories of your Uncle! I remember a few times at MSU, where we had band camp, Mr. Parry was joking around with us. He really was great with the students.

  25. Marilyn Pierce

    I was a band mom, we went to band camp at M.S.U. and he was so good with the kids.. I also drove school bus for Portland, and i remember when we were on our way to a band competition (2 busses) and one broke down so everybody got on my bus and continued on.. We were crowded so Tim got a chair and put it next to me in the front, and he told jokes the rest of the way there.. It made the trip go fast, and is one i never will forget..Tim will be missed by many, may God be with Ann and his children down this tough road.. R.I.P.

  26. Cindy Wilbur

    Tim was a great man. I had the pleasure of working with him at Marshall Music where he worked his “retirement job” as a recruiter for beginning band and orchestra. He loved music and was an advocate for music education. His love for music was always present and he enjoyed working with the students and made it a fun experience for them. He always had funny stories to tell, and could make you laugh no matter how bad your day may have been. I also enjoyed hearing him play with J & J Sounds, it was always a good time whenever he played. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Rest in Peace Tim, you will be missed by many.

  27. Samantha Martin

    Wonderful tribute to a wonderful person! Thanks for sharing the pics. We loved Mr. Parry so much; his influence goes untold and knows no bounds, I’m sure of it. I will always remember him as my most inspiring teacher, and– despite that I’m not playing professionally or studying music– I don’t think I’d be where I am (a Fulbright graduate student in East Java, Indonesia) without his mentoring and encouragement during my formative years. He’ll live forever and will always be missed.

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