John "Jack" McDermott
John "Jack" Patrick McDermott, 86, of Toddville, Iowa, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Dec. 11, 2020, at Shady Rest Care Center in Cascade, Iowa, after a seven-year battle with melanoma cancer, with his family near him. The visitation will be held Friday, Dec. 18, at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Please sign up for visitation times using the link hwww.signupgenius.
com/go/10C0D44ACAC2EA4FBCE9-john or by calling (319) 393-8000.
As mandated by proclamation during the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing must be practiced, which requires a limited number of people to be allowed inside at one time. The use of face masks or shields is required.
Private funeral Mass will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 19, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Hiawatha, Iowa. The Rev. Gary Mayer will officiate assisted by deacons Frank Easton and Dennis Mulherin. A livestream of the funeral Mass may be accessed on the church's website www.seasp.org. Private family burial to follow Mass, with military rites at Dunkard Cemetery in Midway, Iowa. A Celebration of Life will be held later when the McDermott Clan can gather to honor Jack and Charline's lives.
Jack was born June 3, 1934, in the family home his parents built at 1380 N. Booth St., Dubuque, Iowa, the son of Francis "Bud" and Marcella (Besler) McDermott. He graduated from Loras Academy in 1952, where he was active in ROTC, Rifle Team and 1951 Iowa Baseball championship team. He attended Loras College for two years, then served two years in the U.S. Army in Georgia. Jack married his high school sweetheart, Charline Lorraine Sear, on April 24, 1954. After his Army service, he completed his B.S. in electronic engineering at the University of Iowa in 1958.
Jack (aka Jake) was in the technical writing field for five years at Chrysler in Michigan while working on the Redstone and Jupiter missile systems. In 1963, the family moved to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He continued his technical writing career for 29.5 years at Rockwell Collins, working on the Apollo program, satellites and numerous avionics projects. The family moved to Toddville, Iowa, in 1975, where he and Char enjoyed retirement starting in 1993.
In 1972, while attending a religious Cursillo retreat, Jack had a profound spiritual experience that was completely life changing. He surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus Christ and was Baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 3:16). From that day on, his passion and greatest desire was to be a witness for Jesus Christ and to share the unconditional love of God the Father and the new life He promised. His most treasured scripture was: "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love Him." (1 Cor. 2:9)
Jack was a devoted husband and father of nine children. Family was his highest priority! As a prayer warrior, he prayed with us and for us, was a role model on how to live with faith and trust during the joys and challenges of life.
As our family grew, Jack's strong desire was to build close family ties, to know and celebrate each other and share our lives. Family vacations of hiking, camping, golfing, holidays at Camp Io-Dis-E-Ca, a special 50th anniversary cruise and Wilderness Resort, were especially memorable and fun, keeping us connected with cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas. Jack and Char were always interested in activities and events of their children and grandchildren. They were joyful upon hearing the news of expected additions to the clan.
Jack was cubmaster, scoutmaster, assistant coach for youth sports and CCD teacher. He was a school board member, served on three parish councils, was lector and Eucharistic minister and co-leader of a charismatic prayer group. As a charter member of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Jack served on the first parish council, led Life in the Spirit seminars, and introduced the annual Family Camp. He was a team member for C.E.W. retreats, a member of Men of Action, and sung with the Men of Harmony Choir.
Jack had a great sense of humor, connecting with people he knew and strangers alike. He listened with genuine interest and shared valuable life and spiritual wisdom. He volunteered as English tutor for an African refugee, a mentor for a young inmate, and was an
American Cancer Society driver for over 10 years.
Jack and Char were drawn to experience many wonders of the world: great Wall of China, castles of Ireland, the Vatican, Liechtenstein (Char's ancestral land), walking the steps of Jesus in Israel, flying in a bush plane over Denali in Alaska, cruising Caribbean waters, Europe's old-world splendor, the marvels of Australia/New Zealand, Mexican pyramids and all regions of the USA.
Jack relished our Creator's Handiwork; he cultivated flowers from around the world, hunted for beautiful rocks (which most of his grandchildren still have), collected sculptures/carvings from travels and planted huge gardens.
Golf was Jack's favorite pastime. He enjoyed golfing with Char, friends and extended family. He was dancing on the green when he scored a hole-in-one at age 35!
He was an avid deer and elk hunter. These adventures with sons, sons-in-law and grandsons built strong relationships, especially with his son, John, in the Colorado Rockies. Countless hours were spent reliving the tales of hunting and fishing adventures when we gathered.
Jack loved to fish, a proud tradition passed down from generation to generation. As a young lad, you could find him fishing the Mississippi River with his father and brothers. Lasting fishing memories from Alaska to the Caribbean were created with family members, especially in North Dakota with his son, Steve and daughter-in-law, Nancy Jo.
For nearly 50 years, Jack answered the apostolic call; Jesus said, "Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men." (Matt. 4:19) The Catholic Charismatic Renewal equipped him for this ministry. He mentored men considering the deaconate program, led Bible Studies, and taught Confirmation classes. He shared the good news of the gospel wherever he went. With Renewal Ministries, he participated in evangelistic mission trips to Northern Ireland, Ukraine, Slovakia and the Czech Republic, ministering in churches, schools and nursing homes.
Jack could only imagine the wonders of eternity
in Heaven with his beloved God. His greatest joy
was contemplating the hope of eternity in God's
Loving Presence. Jack was indeed a fisher of men
and a powerful prayer warrior. His joyful loving
spirit will live on in all those who knew and
Survivors include seven daughters, Patricia Fossum, Marion, Iowa, Theresa (Kevin) O'Kane, St. Paul, Minn., Diane (Charles) Terrones, Robins, Iowa, Barbara (Bruce) Giza, Bettendorf, Iowa, Nancy (Rick) Herman, McGregor, Minn., Janet (Gary) Rocarek, Vinton, Iowa, and Sarah, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; and two sons, Stephen (Nancy Jo) McDermott, Apple Valley, Minn., and John (Geri) McDermott, Thornton, Colo.; brother, Michael (Nancy), Dubuque, Iowa; and sisters, Mary Alyce (Gene) Neuses, Dubuque, Iowa, and Carol Howell, Davenport, Iowa. He is also survived by 29 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren; four great-great grandchildren; Mike Fossum, Steve Wignall; and many beloved in-laws, nieces and nephews.
Jack was preceded in death by his dear wife, Charline Lorraine (Sear) McDermott; parents, Francis B. McDermott and Marcella (Besler) McDermott, Dubuque, Iowa; infant sister, Shirley; sister, Marlene and her husband, Bill Maher, Davenport, Iowa; brother, Gerald McDermott, Rockford, Ill.; and stepgreat-great-granddaughterm Aurora Lee.
The family extends their deepest gratitude to Mohammed M. Milhem, MBBS "Dr. Mo" and Michele Freesmeier, PA-C, at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa,
Shady Rest Care Center, Cascade, Iowa, and Hospice
of Dubuque for their great care and loving
kindness toward our beloved father, grandfather
Memorial donations may be given to Renewal Ministries, Ann Arbor, Mich.; Disciples of the Lord Jesus, Prayer Town, Texas; or St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, Hiawatha, Iowa. Please leave a message or tribute to Jack's family on the website www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.