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JAMES PATRICK MCDERMOTT


1930 - 2018
JAMES PATRICK MCDERMOTT Obituary
McDERMOTT, James Patrick Those of you who had the privilege in knowing James Patrick McDermott had the true honor to meet a man of integrity, intellect and love. James (Jimmy…Jim…Dad…Papa) was born in Quincy, Massachusetts on January 25, 1930. He graduated from Boston College and went on to receive a M.A. in statistics from Columbia University. While a private in the Army, Jim quickly put his degree to work by collaborating with three fellow soldiers/ mathematicians in developing what is considered the first legitimate card-counting system that they eventually published in the book 'Playing Blackjack to Win'. While he never earned a dime on the 'Vegas tables' from his efforts, he and his fellow statisticians, known as 'The Four Horsemen of Aberdeen', where inducted into the Blackjack Hall-of-Fame in 2008 for their pioneering work. Jim went on to a distinguished career at IBM that lasted 33 years. While in New York City, Jim met the love of his life Diane Hardman. Their marriage on November 17, 1956 lasted nearly 62 years and had them travel the world from Little Rock to Lithuania; Botswana to Boise; Yellowstone to Yugoslavia, among hundreds of other places, rubbing elbows along the way with the likes of Olympic Athletes, African elephants and philosopher Mortimer Adler. Their union produced five children he affectionally referred to as Jeanie, Jimmy, Mark, Joanie, Marty. Jim's family expanded with the addition of each son/daughter-in-law and he loved Sean, Laura, Amy, David and Jeanne as if they were one of his own. His true joy came when he became 'Papa' and his focus and spoils turned to Kristin, Ciaran, Emma, Colleen, Lauren, James, Madeline, Dana, and Connor. Jim's huge heart, tremendous kindness, and sense of playfulness will live on in his wife, children and grandchildren. They will always picture him on the deck overlooking Cape Cod Bay after making the perfect 'Papa G&T'. Jim will also be remembered by his sister Miriam, his beloved sister-in-law Virginia and several nieces and nephews and their families. A celebration of Jim's life will occur on November 10th at the Royal Sonesta Boston at 40 Edwin Land Boulevard in Cambridge, MA from 1 to 5 pm. All are welcome to share their recollections of this great man. If you would like to honor Jim's life, donations can be made in his name to .

View the online memorial for James Patrick McDERMOTT
Published in The Boston Globe on Nov. 5, 2018
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