Joseph Francis McDermott passed away in Rancho Mirage, CA April 9, 2013. Joe was born in De Kalb, Illinois on January 2, 1924. Joe grew up in Carman, Manitoba where he excelled as a young hockey player. The family relocated back to Illinois during the Great Depression. In 1942, he joined the US Army, 501st Parachute Infantry Division, shipped overseas to join up with the 101st Airborne Division, Screaming Eagles. A brand new outfit, only about a third made it through the rigorous training. In June 1944 he jumped on Utah Beach as part of the D Day Normandy Invasion. He earned a Bronze Star
and Purple Heart
. Following World War II, Joe returned to Wilmington, Illinois where he and Julia Ferrari were married in 1948. Joe worked at the Joliet Arsenal and settled in Braceville, Illinois where they raised three children until they moved to Alaska in 1965. Joe continued his civil service career at Fort Richardson and returned to his love of hockey. Joe played and coached hockey in Anchorage, Alaska for many years. Joe lived in the desert at Heritage Palms in Indio for the last 14 years where he played golf and bragged that he didn't need a snow shovel. Joe was preceded in death by his wife; parents; a sister and brother. He is survived by his three children, Susan, Sandra, and Jerry; sisters Patricia and Ellen; his brother Very Rev. Neal W McDermott; and, five grandchildren and one great grandchild. Three of his grandchildren, Chad Adams, Jennifer and Benjamin Faulkner grew up in Alaska. Condolences may be sent to Sue McDermott, 77-708 Malone Cr, Palm Desert, CA 92211.