John Kay McDermott (Jack) passed away November 1, 2021 at St Patrick’s Hospital, Missoula, Montana of cancer.
John was born on a cold January day in 1936 in Rock Lake North Dakota to Elechia and Charles McDermott. Through his life he expressed appreciation for his childhood in a small town where children could find adventures riding ponies, swimming in the sandpit, ice skating on the lake and playing basketball. He was loved by his parents and their family home was a happy one. When he and his cousin Tom Sparby were recalling the Rock Lake memories the town took on a better perspective with each telling.
After high school graduation, Jack enlisted in the army and served two years in Korea. He then attended James Town College before he and Frances Tweten were married in August, 1957. They were blessed with two sons, Mark and Kent.
Jack's goal was to become an air traffic controller and the family moved several times while he was working for Frontier Airlines. During these years he worked on getting a commercial pilots license. In 1962, he was hired by the Federal Aviation Administration and after training in Grand Forks, North Dakota he was assigned to Logan Field in Billings, Montana with the FAA. They made Billings their hometown for 53 years. He retired as assistant chief of the tower in Billings in 1991. Jack loved being around aviation and considered a number of the controllers he worked with his friends.
In retirement, his passion was golf. He enjoyed playing in the senior league at Pryor Creek Golf Club as well as watching golf and reading about golf. And, the game became even better when son, Kent and daughter-in-law, Lora, played with him at Rivers Bend in Thompson Falls. Fran and Jack were snowbirds for 17 years dividing their time between Billings and Green Valley, AZ. In 2016 they moved to Missoula to be close to Lora and Kent.
His family is saying good bye with sincere appreciation for the years of kindness and love he shared with them. Survivors include his wife, Frances, son Kent and (Lora). He was preceded in death by his parents and beloved son, Mark.
The family is planning a memorial gathering of friends in Billings in the spring of 2022.
In lieu of flowers, if friends would like to honor Jack, please make a donation to the Billings Clinic Cancer Center. With their care he was given 17 more years