​William Francis “Bill” McDermott

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Obituary

William Francis “Bill” McDermott, 92, recently of Indianapolis, Indiana, formerly of Louisville, Colorado, and Chagrin Falls, Ohio, passed away on June 15, 2017. Funeral Mass will be held at St. Monica’s Catholic Church at 6131 Michigan Rd, Indianapolis, IN 46228 on Tuesday, June 20th at 11:00 AM, with visitation beginning at 10:00 AM.


Born May 26, 1925 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he was the devoted husband of the late Margaret Eileen “Peggy” McDermott (Monley), son of the late Julia Mary Kline and the late John Bernard McDermott, also preceded in death by siblings Helen Proebstle, Irene Layton, Lucille Maun, and Bernard McDermott. He is survived by his brother, Jack McDermott, of Littleton, Colorado. Also surviving are five sons and five daughters, Patrick (Ruth Ann) of Westerville, OH; Daniel (Becky) of Houston, TX; Brian (Charlene) of Carmel, IN; David (Liz) of San Carlos, CA; Mark of Indianapolis, IN; Maureen Mancina of Prairie Village, KS; Carrie Bezek (Stan) of Virginia, MN, Julie Rudolf (Charles) of Dalton, PA; Eileen Kamp (Dave) of Cincinnati, OH; Kathleen Gilbert (Michael) of Chardon, OH. When asked recently how many children he has, he said, “ten . . . . . so far!” Along with his 10 children and spouses he leaves 29 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren.

After graduating from the University North Dakota in mechanical engineering, earning a degree in naval science from the University of Illinois and a degree in International Business in France, Bill became Director of Research and Development for Pickands Mather, a large mining company in Cleveland, with which he helped to develop new ways to recover and concentrate iron ore. He was also the lead part of the development of the first long distance (52 miles) slurry pipeline to transport the concentrate from high in the mountains in Tasmania to the coast and then on to Japan. After Pickands Mather merged with Diamond Shamrock in early 1970, Bill eventually became Vice President and General Manager of the International Division. He had visited 58 countries to set up joint ventures and licensees. He was hired by Occidental Petroleum in Colorado in 1977 as Executive vice President of their oil shale project.

Though Bill had such a notable education and a successful career in the mining industry, he was most proud and passionate about his work as a volunteer and advocate for the elderly, which led him to work as a long term care ombudsman for six years for the State of Colorado. He was recognized in 2004 by the Boulder County Aging Services Division for his service to the elderly. He was also recognized by the City of Louisville, Colorado for his work with the elderly, along with the planning commission to create a charter for the city. He received the Outstanding Volunteer award by the Colorado Association of Homes and Service for the Aging. He also received an award from Project HOPE, a program designed to assist frail elderly who wish to remain in their homes. After Bill received these awards, he said “All of these awards came as a surprise to me. I’ve just always wanted to help people. There’s a feeling that you get when you do something good. You take a step back and you think, if I hadn’t been there to do that, who would have? A lot of it is small stuff, but when someone is totally helpless, the small stuff is the only stuff.”

His awards, achievements, interests, hobbies, passions and accomplishments fill albums but his greatest life-long purpose and joy were love of his faith and love of his family.

In 1994 while living in Colorado he attended a Bible Study and from it he wrote his own Farewell Discourse, a portion which reads:

“Openly show your love for others just a Jesus did. Live a life that when you stand before God and He asks, What did you do with the life I gave you.” You can answer just as Jesus did: “I glorified You on earth by accomplishing the work You gave me to do.”

Memorial contributions may be made to www.projecthope.org.
Arrangements entrusted to Flanner and Buchanan-Broad Ripple.