Mary Alice McDermott
Published: February 3, 2013
MARY ALICE MCDERMOTT, age 82, of Little Rock died Feb. 1, 2013, following a seven year battle with cancer. She was born in Malvern to the late United States Senator, John L. McClellan and Lucille Smith McClellan. After moving to Washington, D.C., she attended a private French boarding school, in Warrington, Va. and later enrolled at the National Cathedral School in Washington, D.C. Mary graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a B.S. degree "with honors" in Pre-med, Zoology/Chemistry. Some of her honors included Phi Beta Kappa, president of the Mortar Board and the Chi Omega sorority. Mary was accepted into medical school but decided to marry Harry "Buddy" McDermott and devote her life to raising her family and volunteer work. In between raining three children, she was heavily involved in church, political, and community activities. She co-chaired the McClellan Committee for Women's Concerns which pin pointed political issues affecting women and sought practical solutions on local and national levels. As president of the Junior League of Little Rock she sponsored several seminars on aging which eventually evolved into the Arkansas Council on Aging. Mary served on the board of Directors of the Arkansas Arts Center, Family Services Agency, Gaines House, Senior Citizens Active Today, Y.M.C.A, Red Cross, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield. After raising her children, she worked at the State Board on Review and later was employed at the John L. McClellan Veteran's Hospital and became involved in cancer research, as the cancer program manager. After retiring she enjoyed life living on the Arkansas River. Mary loved playing bridge, gardening, cooking, reading, bible study, needle pointing, and spending time with family and friends. Her life was full of achievement, hard work, strong faith, and politics. She was known by her friends as a "true lady." Mary is survived by her husband, Harry Edward McDermott Jr., of Little Rock; one son, Harry McDermott of Fayetteville; two daughters, Lisa McDermott Reynolds and husband, Roger Reynolds of little Rock, Holly McDermott of Little Rock, and grandson, Chance McDermott. She is predeceased by three brothers, Max, John, Jim, and one sister, Doris. There will be a funeral service Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Pulaski Heights Baptist Church officiated by Reverend Randy Hyde. A private burial will follow at Roselawn Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers please make donations to World Services for the Blind, 2811 Fair Park Blvd, Little Rock Ark. 72204, or Pulaski Heights Baptist Church, 2200 Kavanaugh Blvd, Little Rock, Ark. 72205 or to your favorite charity. Arrangements by Ruebel Funeral Home, www.ruebelfuneralhome.com.