January 13, 1932 - September 4, 2015
Services for J. Steve “Mac” McDermott, Jr., are scheduled for Saturday September 12, 2015, at 10 a.m. at the Brooks Family Chapel/North Dallas Funeral Home, 2710 Valley View Lane. Burial will be on Monday, September 14, 2015, at 9 a.m. at the Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery, 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas. (Please all vehicles in Lane “A”).
Mr. McDermott was born on January 13, 1932, in Dallas. He was the son of John Stephen McDermott, Sr., and Cass Marie Prather McDermott. He attended Jesuit High School, where he played football and was a member of the Ranger Band. He attended college at SMU, and until a few years ago was the oldest member of the SMU Alumni Band. Over the years, he played in many groups including the Kansas City Chief’s Marching Band.
He loved playing his trombone, and entered the Air Force as a musician, but during the Korean War, took the opportunity to transfer into pilot training, where flying became another major theme in his life. After training in Arizona and North Texas, he was assigned to the 94th Interceptor Squadron at Andrews AFB, Washington, DC, guarding the nation’s capital in an F-86D Sabre jet, the most advanced fighter of that era. He continued attending his squadron reunions for many years.
Steve was a talented photographer and became the “Family Historian” recording many photos of family and friends. Steve later combined photography with his skill in flying to become an accomplished aerial photographer supporting his real estate and appraisal business. He became a certified Master Appraiser for the State of Texas, and served as an expert witness in the courts on contested real estate matters.
For many years, Steve’s company, Real Estate Reports, real estate office was located at Love Field. It had a fully equipped darkroom in the basement, where he developed his aerial photos. His daughter Patti and brother Patrick remember many days flying with him when he would hand over the controls of his Piper Cub, with the command “hold her steady, even on the horizon” as he leaned out the window with his large-format Hasselblad camera and snapped away. Prints and appraisals would be on their way the next day, a revolution in the appraisal business of his day. He maintained his Class One Pilot’s license for small craft for almost fifty years.
For many years, Steve was a member of the Highland Hunting and Fishing Club, adding yet another passion to his remarkable spectrum of interests. He was also an avid fisherman (he loved Cypress Lake), and would tie his own “flys” for fly fishing. He worked miracles on a portable Coleman propane stove frying the fish for those lucky enough to partake.
He loved sailing and had a number of boats; one of his favorites was an Olympic-class Finnish sailboat. Steve and the “Fin” competed in many regattas from North Texas to Houston. Among his many talents, Steve liked to compose still life scenes with oils on canvas from sketches he had made. He even tinkered with inventing an additive for airbrushing acrylics, but didn’t pursue a patent for the idea.
Steve’s interest in real estate continued to the end, where he was an appraiser and a registered agent for Keller Williams Realty, with an office down the street from his last residence at the Treemont Retirement Community on Harvest Hill Road in Dallas.
Steve is survived by his loving companion of many years, Helen Coleman, his daughter Patricia Lynne (McDermott) Tenckhoff (Sacramento, California), and granddaughter, Melissa Nicole Jones (Omaha, Nebraska). Steve’s other daughter, Catherine Ann McDermott, passed away some years ago. His surviving siblings include: sister Merle McDermott (Austin, Texas) and brothers Patrick McDermott (Vienna, VA) and Kevin McDermott (Taos, New Mexico). A large cohort of cousins and other relatives reside throughout Texas.
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