William G. McDermott, 77, veteran, real estate agent

April 29, 2005

William G. McDermott, whose career in the Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard spanned eras from World War II to Vietnam, died of cancer Tuesday at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium. He was 77.

Mr. McDermott was born in New York City and raised in Astoria, Queens.

"He lied about his age and joined the Marines when he was 15," said a daughter, Gail M. O'Keefe of Edgewood.

Subsequently, he served in the Navy as a master hospital chief and, while aboard the hospital ship USS Benevolence, participated in the 1946 atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll.

Mr. McDermott concluded his military career in 1975 as a Coast Guard pharmacist's mate at the old public health hospital in Baltimore, now the Wyman Park Medical Center.

A resident of Joppatown for 40 years, Mr. McDermott earned his real estate license after retiring from the service and worked part-time in real estate sales.

He was a dog fancier and enjoyed taking them on long walks.

He was a communicant of Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church in Joppatowne and a member of Disabled American Veterans and the Humane Society.

His wife of 33 years, the former Joan Kathryn Cooney, a homemaker, died in 1987.

Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. May 12 at Arlington National Cemetery.

Mr. McDermott is also survived by a son, William D. McDermott of Pasadena; four other daughters, Karen A. McDermott of Edgewood, Joann Nolan of Lake Barrington, Ill., Mary C. McDermott of Linthicum and Carol L. Blesh of Towson; a sister, Marie Perez of New York City; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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