C. Eugene McDermott

1932 ~ 2022

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 watch the services online, please click on the blue "Watch Services" button to the right of his photo. You will be asked to sign into your Zoom account. To sign up for your own free account, visit the Zoom sign-up page and enter your email address. You will receive an email from Zoom (no-reply@zoom.us). In this email, click Activate Account.

A recording of the services will be available to watch here within 24 hours of the service.


Dear Becky, Kathy & Eric, Scott & Lisa, Rob & DeAnna: Thank you for the wonderful and uplifting tribute that you gave to your dad, my Uncle Gene! It was so good to see all of you and your dear beautiful families. The McDermott family that we a part of through Henry Lucas & Clara Marie is full of love and support, which is very comforting. I would like to share a couple of stories about your dad. The summer after my sophomore year of High School, I worked for Uncle Gene. So, Chris McDermott and I both worked there and we were assigned to a couple of different processes. One of which I was assigned was the old punch press that you would work with your foot to punch out the blue wrist IDs. You would slide a piece of blue plastic material into position on the punch press and push the pedal and it punch it out. The machine was a bit tricky. Anyway, a completed box was 1000 of the Blue IDs. so, when working the machine you sat on a can of sorts and you were hunched over looking at the position and punching out the IDs. so, one day Uncle Gene sees that out of 1000 I had about 30 errors in the punching. Well, he thought that was too much waste, so he was going to show me how to do it correctly. So, he got down on the seat and started punching away after 100 punches he had wasted about 70 of the 100! He got up, grunted and walked off without a word, and never questioned my work again! :) Steve was there and saw the whole thing and had a huge grin on his face when Uncle Gene walked away. I think he told me no worries and that I was doing great. Scott may have been there, I can't remember for sure. Anyway, it didn't bother me, I was a McDermott! I knew how these things go with us McDermotts! 14 years later when I started my own business, Uncle Gene was so pleased and happy for me, he encourage me, he was like a mentor to me. He also always gave me a hug, sometimes a kiss on the check and told me that he loved me. That is the McDermott way as well. I will be forever grateful for his good heart and loving kindness that he showed me. I love your dad, my dear Uncle Gene. God bless you all. With Love, Luke & Bonnie

- Luke McDermott

Your amazing father was a joy! He truly loved life and lived life abundantly with heart and soul. His countenance reflected light. People were attracted to him. People wanted to be lifted by his presence!

His modest way of speaking was relatable to most people. He often said he didn't like public speaking, that is was difficult for him. This fact made him even more "down to earth". It was refreshing!

It was a great "privilege" to serve with him in the Stake Young Woman Presidency. I will always remember his goodness and exceptional leadership.

Your darling Mom, Mary Ann, was brilliant like your Dad. She was fun, deep thinking, and a perfect fit for your Dad. I remember her teasingly saying something like:
"These men just love standing around holding their priesthood". She was a blast!

What a delightful legacy your darling parents have left for you!
So very excited to see them in the eternities...if we qualify???

Much love to you!
Ed & Jill Heyes VV6th Ward

- Ed & Jill Heyes

I loved everything about Gene and the personal experiences I had with him. He was my Bishop and Stake President. He was so generous with his resources, which he shared with us on many occasions. I am particularly fond of the time I spent with him fixing fans and eating good food at his lovely home in Hawaii.

- Mason Redd

Sad to hear that Bro McDermott has passed. He was my scoutmaster back in the 60’s. He left a lasting impression on me as a young man that impacted my life. My condolences

- Steve Jones

Sending your family my love and condolences…
I have so many fond memories of your dad (and mom), and your entire family…I can still remember walking to Evergreen Junior High School with Steve. Every morning I would stop and pick him up and Chester would be at the door as well. Your dad always treated me and our family just like family. We have missed you all through the years! I am thinking of you… So hard to lose our parents, no matter how old we are…Love to you all! We will be out of town for the service, and I would love to be there…I will be thinking of you….

- Susan Vincent Campbell

I am sorry to hear that Gene passed away.When I was little his son Steve and I were inseparable.We were always playing base ball in their back yard,riding bikes and all. When they moved to California I was a lost little boy.It took years to get over that.I remember that when you went to their house you felt like family. Steve passed years ago from cancer and was a great loss to me.The McDermotts will allways hold a very special place in my hart.

- Scott A Dixon

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Eugene. He and Maryann lived on our street in Murray. I was their babysitter for many years and Gene would always offer to pay me with S AND H GREEN STAMPS for my time, I can still hear his laugh when Maryann would get after him for teasing me. They were great neighbors and such kind people...

- Claudia Wilde

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Eugene. He and Maryann lived on our street in Murray. I was their babysitter for many years and Gene would always offer to pay me with S AND H GREEN STAMPS for my time, I can still hear his laugh when Maryann would get after him for teasing me. They were great neighbors and such kind people...

- Claudia Wilde

Oh Wellings. We were saddened to learn of your dear Dad's death. What a joyful reunion with your mom it must have been. We leave the country Wednesday morning and will not be able to hug you and shed a tear. The Eberhardts will forever love the McDermotts

- Sandi