Joseph R. McDermott

Joseph R McDermott, “Joe Loveland,” October 30, 1921 – April 17, 2010. Joe McDermott was born into a very Irish family on October 30, 1921. Instilled with a strong work ethic and flair for showmanship, he was trained in retail sales in men’s haberdashery by his brother Larry in Lincoln, NE. After a promotion, Joe moved to Omaha to manage Rank’s Army Surplus store in 1947 where he honed his skills for advertising and marketing. An outrageous sales promoter, he staged a copycat Brink’s robbery of the First National Bank in downtown Omaha. As a master of ceremonies and announcer, he charmed audiences at the Sunset Speedway, Peony Park and later at charity events at the Good Shepherd Home and Mount Michael Benedictine Abby. In the early 60’s Joe utilized his public relations skills to engineer the peaceful integration of Peony Park. Joe married his “beauty queen and partner forever, Ada” in 1942. They had two sons Michael and Patrick followed by grandchildren Megan, Larry, Carolyn, Matthew and great-grandchildren Gabrielle and Grace. Grandpa Joe and Grandma Ada supported, smiled and laughed with their grandchildren. Grandpa Joe was loved and will always be remembered. In the early 60’s, Joe started Loveland Lawns selling grass seed and fertilizer out of his garage in the little green house at 9816 F Street in Omaha, NE. Twenty years later, the Loveland Warehouse was the largest distributor of lawn and garden product west of Chicago. In 1967, Joe was instrumental in the formation of the Midwest Sod Association and later the American Sod Producers and was a founding member of the National Lawn and Garden Distributors Association. He helped establish the certified sod program for the state of Nebraska and create the turf department at the University of Nebraska’s School of Agriculture. Joe pioneered high quality, certified sod in the Midwest. He was a founding member of the Nebraska Certified Sod Program and led the transition from pasture sod to premium cultured turf grass in the Midwest and throughout the nation. Loveland sod and McDermott Turf Farms are synonymous with premium quality green turf. Over a half-century, thousands of acres of Loveland sod were installed on the biggest jobs. The University of Nebraska at Lincoln, the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Rosenblatt Stadium, Burke, Papillion and Elkhorn High Schools, the new Boys Town Research Hospital were all major sod jobs installed by Loveland Lawns. Joe was all about dirt and natural green grass. He hated artificial turf. He disliked artificial people. There was nothing artificial about Joe McDermott. VISITATION The family will receive friends at St. Gerald Catholic Church Wednesday, 5:30pm-7pm VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm at the church. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL Thursday, 10am, St. Gerald Catholic Church. INTERNMENT, Calvary Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Mount Michael or Sisters of Notre Dame.

HEAFEY-HEAFEY-HOFFMANN DWORAK & CUTLER Mortuaries and Crematories 7805 West Center Road Omaha, Nebraska 68124 (402) 391-3900

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