Joan Teresa Whelan McDermott, born 1929 in Philadelphia, PA, died October 19, 2022 at the age of 93. Her death was expected a few times over the past decades but God intervened, giving Joan more time to enjoy with family. Her children joked that they labored to get their mother to her beloved Maine for one final summer…and that happened three separate times. She was predeceased by her husband, John “Dick” Richard McDermott, in 1999, and her sisters, Ann “Nancy” Hunt Whelan, Louise Brady (Jack), Helen Carnahan (Grove) and Margaret Peck (Bill). She is survived by her brother, John Whelan (Linda) of Manakin Sabot, VA. When asked what mattered to her, the response was her faith and her family. Joan was a mother of 7 (Mary Kevin McDermott of Evanston, IL, Gerald McDermott (Jean) of Charlottesville, VA; John McDermott, Jr. of Rochester, NY; Eileen McDermott of Blue Mountain Beach, FL; Amy Swanson (Lisle) of Lexington, MA; Ann “Nancy” Hunt McDermott of Dallas, TX; and Kathleen Sprong (Douglas) of St. Louis, MO; as well as being grandmother of 15 and great grandmother of 20.
Joan and Dick retired to Maine in 1985 and fell in love with the mid-Coast region. After Dick’s death, the next 20+ years were spent splitting time between Belfast, Maine and Blue Mountain Beach, Florida. But her real love was for Maine—its beautiful coast and residents. She loved nothing more than working in the garden, watching the birds, exploring the peninsulas, and searching for the best lobster roll. For the last few years, Joan spent less time gardening and more time by a window or on her screen porch sitting with her Bible and the most recent Daniel Silva spy novel, and always on the lookout for birds.
Plans for a memorial service are scheduled for the summer of 2023 when extended family and friends can come to beautiful Maine to celebrate. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to Waldo Community Action Partners (waldocap.org), or Maine Public Network (mainepublic.org)