Walter E. “Walt” McDermott, Jr.
June 4, 1954 - December 5, 2023
Walter E. “Walt” McDermott, Jr., 69, of Newark, DE, passed away on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, following several years of health issues and a short stay in hospice.
Born in Philadelphia, PA, on June 4, 1954, he was the son of the late Rita (Romanowski) and Walter E. McDermott, Sr. Walt grew up in Upper Darby, PA, where he attended St. Laurence’s School. After graduating from Monsignor Bonner High School for Boys in Drexel Hill, PA, he attended St. Joseph’s University and then transferred to Temple University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism.
Following college, Walt worked as Public Relations Manager for the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic Caucus. He went on to have a more than 25-year career with The News Journal in Delaware. Walt started on the Sport Desk, where he worked as a copy editor and reporter. He covered amateur leagues and high school, college and professional sports and was a beat reporter for the Philadelphia Flyers. Walt moved on to become a copy editor on the News Desk, where he was responsible for page design, copy editing and headline writing. He later became Assistant News Editor, overseeing production and layout for The Sunday News Journal and running the Crossroads community section.
Following his time in the newspaper business, Walt attended Wilmington University, becoming a certified paralegal. He worked for the Family Court of Delaware before spending more than five years as a collection specialist with Sallie Mae and Navient.
Walt was a bona fide Philadelphia sports junkie, with a deep love of the Philadelphia Phillies, 76ers, Flyers, Eagles and Big 5 basketball. One of his most cherished memories was attending Game 3 of the 2008 World Series and cheering the Phillies on as they pulled out a dramatic, 5-4, walk-off win over the Tampa Bay Rays in the early morning hours at a very soggy Citizens Bank Park.
In more recent years, Walt’s son turned him on to Premier League soccer. His family often spent weekends watching games together and were enthralled by the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Walt was also a huge fan of The Beatles. He loved their music, knew every obscure fact about their history, and collected their vintage memorabilia. If Walt wasn’t wearing a Phillies or Eagles t-shirt, he was wearing one with John, Paul, George and Ringo.
A man of faith, Walt was a member of St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church in Newark, DE. For a number of years, he served as an assistant coach of his son’s baseball team in Canal Little League. Walt also was very proud that his family has been part of the community at Sanford School in Hockessin, DE, for the last 12 years.
Walt is survived by his loving wife of 27 years, Michele Darnell; son, Aidan McDermott, who inherited his dad’s love of sports and music; sisters, Christine (Anthony) Geonnotti of Northampton, PA, Maureen McDermott of Springfield, PA, and Valerie (Charles) Schifano, of Colts Neck, NJ; uncle, Leonard (Peggy) Romanowski of Turnersville, NJ; nieces and nephews; and Buddy, who he affectionately dubbed “the best dog ever.”
A visitation for family and friends will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. on Monday, December 18, 2023, at St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church, 2431 Frazer Road in Newark, DE. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Walt’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by clicking here or by mail to ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.