C. McDermott Obituary (2022) – Salt Lake City, UT
Our beloved, father, grandfather, and great grandfather, Clifton Eugene McDermott passed away at the age of 89 on June 10, 2022.
Gene was born November 2, 1932, in Salt Lake City, Utah to Henry Lucas and Clara Marie Petersen McDermott. Gene attended West High School where he played basketball and football and was West High Associated Men’s (WHAM) president.
At West High School he met Mary Ann Dickson in a seminary class and they became High School sweethearts. He joined the Army National Guard during the Korean War and was activated prior to his High School graduation commencement. While in basic training at Camp McCoy he tried out for and made an Army basketball team that played other Army teams, university teams, and even the Harlem Globetrotters.
After the war, he returned home and proposed to Mary Ann Dickson and the two were married on June 8, 1954, after having to negotiate with his soon-to-be father-in-law as his first request for her hand in marriage was denied, as Gene was “too young” and was told to come back in a year. Rather than a year, he returned six months later and Mary Ann’s father conceded.
Gene attended and graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and taught Dynamics and Thermodynamics classes while completing his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.
He was employed by Sperry Rand and Hercules before moving his family to Pasadena California and accepting a job at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories (JPL) where he would work on the controls systems and Vernier engine design of the first unmanned spacecraft called the Surveyor that made a soft landing on the moon.
Gene would later have an opportunity to return to Salt Lake and work for a division of ITE Imperial developing medical products. When ITE divested itself from his employed division he acquired the division and ventured out on his own and founded Bio-Logics Products, Inc. which manufactured and sold ID systems in the hospital. He hired and worked with his children and some of his grandchildren for many years.
One of Gene’s greatest pleasures was traveling to and enjoying Hawaii with family and friends. His early morning walks on the beach with family members were among his fondest memories.
Gene loved being around and spending time with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren and would often express pride in his posterity. One of his most difficult trials was losing his oldest son Steve to cancer in 2010.
Gene was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints where he faithfully served in many church callings including Scout Master, Bishop, Gospel Doctrine Teacher, Young Men’s Leader, Bishopric Counselor, Stake High Councilor, and Stake President. He also served as a sealer in the Salt Lake City temple and loved serving and sealing some of his posterity to their spouses and parents.
Gene faithfully took care of his eternal companion for six years as she struggled with the debilitating disease of Alzheimer’s.
Gene is survived by his children, Becky McDermott, daughter-in-law, Kathy Welling (Eric), Scott McDermott (Lisa), Robert McDermott (DeAnna), 17 grandchildren, and 19 great-grandchildren, brother-in-law Jim Dickson (Rula), and sister-in-law Cherie McDermott. Preceded in death by his parents, loving wife Mary Ann, son Steve, his siblings, and their spouses: Leland (Norma) McDermott, Marie (Harvey) Carlson, Naomi McDermott, Bill (Lorraine) McDermott, Betty Mae Blair, and Lloyd McDermott .
The family would especially like to thank Kathy and Eric Welling for their loving kindness in taking care of and welcoming Dad into their home for the past three and half years which brought so much joy and happiness to his life.
The family would also like to thank Sunrise Senior Living and Inspiration Hospice for their care of Dad in his final days.
A viewing will be held Wednesday, July 6, 2022, at the Valley View 10th Ward, 1985 East 3900 South in Salt Lake City, Utah from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. Funeral Services will follow at 12:00 pm, under the direction of Larkin Mortuary. Interment at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park.
If you would like to share a favorite memory of Gene with his family or for information to watch the services online, please visit larkincares.com.
Published by The Salt Lake Tribune from Jun. 29 to Jul. 3, 2022.
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