Richard F. McDermott, age 89, a longtime resident of Braintree, formerly of Quincy, died peacefully, Saturday, January 27, 2024 at Alliance Health at Braintree, in the comfort of his loving family.
Richard was born in Quincy, to the late John J. and Lillian C. (Gregory) McDermott. Raised and educated in Quincy’s Houghs Neck, he was a graduate of Quincy High School, Class of 1952.
In 1967 he was a graduate of Northeastern University, earning an Associate Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering Technology; and several other certificates relating to municipal management and building construction management.
In parallel with his studies, he was employed by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, in the construction and maintenance of several satellite tracking stations worldwide. After graduation, he went on to work for several municipalities and engineering companies. Finally, he worked for the Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School as Plant Manager for 18 years before retiring in 1996.
His service to the community began in 1972 when he became charter board member and chairman of the Weymouth-Braintree Regional Recreation-Conservation District Commission. Initially, this was a flood control project to benefit the Weymouth Landing area which experienced devastating floods in the past. When finished, this project became known as Pond Meadow Park and is now enjoyed by the community year-round as a passive recreational area and nature preserve. He was also a supervisor for the Norfolk County Conservation District, and a member of the Boston Harbor Advisory Commission.
His love for boating began from an early age with his involvement with the sea scouts where he first learned the lessons of responsible boating and safety. This led to a lifelong involvement with recreational boating, especially throughout Quincy Bay and adjacent waters. This was a family past time where he was always accompanied by his wife and First Mate, Louise. He always prided himself to be one of the first into the water during springtime, and the last to come out for winter. He belonged to several area yacht clubs, namely Braintree Yacht Club, Quincy Yacht Club, and the Metropolitan Yacht Club.
His private studies in seamanship and the rules of navigation led to his earning his certification as a US Coast Guard Licensed Master and additional endorsements required for advanced navigation. As his professional engineering career was winding down, Captain McDermott went on to operate the cruise boats and commuters we all know well, and to supervise many other maritime operations requiring the services of a licensed master. What is more, he served for a time as Assistant Harbormaster , and for many years as Harbormaster for the Town of Braintree where he worked diligently with the police and fire departments in Braintree and surrounding communities, the Massachusetts State Police, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, and the Department of Homeland Security. He tirelessly worked with the other area harbormasters, the public boating community, and yacht clubs.
Richard also served for a time as a Braintree Town Meeting member. He is a Life Member of the Knights of Columbus, Braintree Council 1462 since 1972, and associated himself with several other professional organizations and societies.
Beloved husband of the late Louise M. (Gomez) McDermott. Devoted father of Richard P. McDermott and his wife Marie of Hollis, N.H., Kevin M. McDermott of Braintree, Lisa Nolan and her husband Thomas of Pembroke, Linda J. Solimini, and Karen Johnston, both of Braintree. Loving grandfather of twelve and great grandfather of thirteen. The last of four siblings, he was predeceased by Commander John G. McDermott, U.S. Navy, Ret., Roger W. McDermott, and Marilyn G. Mann. Richard is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and their families.
Visiting hours will be held at the Sweeney Brothers Home for Funerals, 1 Independence Avenue, Quincy, on Friday, February 2, from 4 – 7 p.m. Relatives and friends are invited to attend. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated in Saint John the Baptist Church, 44 School Street, Quincy, on Saturday, February 3, at 10 a.m. Interment to follow at Blue Hill Cemetery, Braintree.
For those who wish, donations in Richard and Louise’s memory may be made to the National Kidney Foundation, Finance Department, 30 East 33rd Street, New York, NY 10016 or by visiting www.kidney.org/donate.
You are invited to visit www.thesweeneybrothers.com or call 617-472-6344.