NORTH PLATTE -- Douglas J. McDermott, 82, died Friday (Dec. 11, 2009), at Great Plains Regional Medical Center.
He was born Feb. 15, 1927, at home near Somerset, to John and Violet (Halsey) McDermott. He graduated high school from the University of Nebraska School of Agriculture in Curtis, in 1945. During his high school years he traveled with Orvil Kuhlman showing registered Hereford cattle. He showed all over the state of Nebraska as well as in Atlanta, Ga., Jacksonville, Fla., and Memphis, Tenn.
On Nov. 14, 1948, he married Alice Elaine Simmons in North Platte. The couple joined his parents in partnership on their ranch west of Wellfleet. In 1973, they bought the ranch. Under his leadership, irrigation was introduced to the ranch in 1976, and he continued to trade cattle and expand his yearling operation. He diversified his ranch to include a feedlot and auction barn. His son and grandson, Bruce and Thad McDermott, operate the business now.
He served on the school, election, and fire boards and was instrumental in the development of Highway 23 connecting to U.S 83.
In 1985 the couple built a new home at Lake Maloney and he retired from the ranch, becoming a right -of-way agent for the Natural Gas Pipeline of America. He retired from that position in 1995.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his mother and father in law, William and Lottie Simmons; two sisters, Betty Whitver and Beverly Jurgens; and brothers-in-law Harry Whitver, Kelvey Frey, and Warren Simmons.
Survivors include his wife Alice of North Platte; children, Dayle and husband, Ron Thompson of Wallace, Bruce and wife, Erica McDermott of Wellfleet, and Dawn and husband, Greg Hock of High Rolls, N.M.; a sister, Barbara and husband, Dale Ness of Dent, Minn.; brother-in-law Glenn Jurgens of Curtis; and a sister-in-law, Gloria Frey of Valparaiso; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Services will be 1:30 p.m., Tuesday at the Adams & Swanson Chapel with family friend Al Scott officiating. Burial will be at Floral Lawns Memorial Gardens.
Visitation is today until 9 p.m.
A memorial has been established in his name and online condolences can be made at www.adamsswanson.com.
Adams & Swanson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.