Thomas McDermott

Grand Island

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Updated: Tue, 26 Nov 2013 03:23:16 CST

Thomas R. McDermott, 71, of Grand Island, died peacefully on Sunday, November 24, 2013 in Fullerton.

Thomas R. McDermottCelebration of Life memorial service will be 3:00 p.m. Wednesday at All Faiths Funeral Home with Daniel Naranjo officiating. Cremation has taken place and burial of ashes will be at a later date.

There will be no visitation.

Tom was born May 7, 1942 in Omaha, NE to E. Merle and Mildred (Brady) McDermott.

Survivors include his younger sisters, Joan (Jack) Juel of Ft. Smith, AR and Eileen (Ron Wilson) McDermott of Nashville, TN; younger brothers, Jim McDermott of Houston, TX, Tim (Mary) McDermott of Jacksonville, FL, Mike (Jenny) McDermott and John (Debbie) McDermott of Grand Island, Hugh (Cathey) McDermott, Kevin (Diane) McDermott and Kerry (Terri) McDermott of Lincoln, M. Daniel (Julien) McDermott of Portland, OR and Leo (Paula) McDermott of Severna Park, MD.

His memory is also lovingly cherished by a brother-in-law, Jack Corrigan of Naples, FL and his numerous nieces and nephews across the country of whom he was very proud.

He was preceded in death by his parents; older sister, Marcia Corrigan and younger sister, Sheila McDermott.

Tom, who was lovingly nicknamed “Tee” at age two by his sister Marcia, was the second eldest of 14 children, and the eldest son in the McDermott family. Growing up with his large family of siblings, Tee could always be counted on to display an incomparable sense of humor, a refreshing individualism, a splendid sense of honesty and candor, and a focused loyalty to his family and friends that became the hallmark of his life. Tom graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1960, where he was active in sports and well-liked by his many social friends and acquaintances.

Despite often being incapacitated after high school graduation with a very difficult and severe illness with which he was forced to struggle for the balance of his life, Tom always preferred to emphasize the positive, never the negative. This was always done in a considerate, unassuming and dignified manner. Whenever life would unfairly throw yet another obstacle in his path, it was classic Tee to squarely face the issue head-in, take a long draw on his trademark no-filter cigarette, ponder the issue, and then either quietly resolve, or endure, the problem with an astounding sense of humility and grace, typically sprinkled, of course, with his usual smile and funny quip. Simply put, Tom endured and persevered with a unique dignity and style that most other people would be unable to replicate. In the process over the many years of his illness, Tom continued to lead by example and made countless friends along the way, both with fellow patients and health care practitioners alike.

Tom was a role model second to none. Loved by his many family members and friends, his memory and his example will live on.

Memorials are suggested to “Christmas Cheer”.