John “Jay” P. McDermott, of Randolph, passed away unexpectedly of natural causes on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at his home. He was 68.
Jay was born in Bloomfield on December 30, 1950 to the late John T. & Mary E. McDermott. He was raised in Bloomfield and Glen Ridge, prior to moving to Randolph where he began his life with his beloved wife of 29 years, Theresa “Tess” Ferree McDermott.
At a very young age it was evident that Jay had a brilliant mind. He was a graduate of Regis High School in NYC, attended Lehigh University, and Rutgers University where he earned a degree in biology and environmental health.
Jay had a lifelong thirst for knowledge and education. A voracious reader, Jay possessed an impressive wealth of knowledge. His mathematical mind was coupled with a deep interest in literature. No matter what the conversation, Jay continually surprised his friends with his detailed knowledge of just about any subject area, and he never shared this knowledge with arrogance, only with humility. Jay was typically in the middle of reading 4 to 5 books at a time, and he read the New York Times from front to back daily. He had a strong command of the English language, was an excellent writer and a wry public speaker. An active hands-on tinkerer and craftsman, Jay enjoyed the detailed planning and execution of carpentry projects. He also had a passion for aeronautics and sports cars. An advocate for environmental preservation, Jay loved the outdoors, walking on the beach, and traveling with his beloved wife, Tess.
Jay was as loyal as they come. He was a man of great self-control, grace and impeccable manners- a true gentleman. He enriched the lives of all he met and was a loyal friend to many, continuing to meet regularly with grade school friends to play cards and reminisce. Jay loved conversation and was an intent listener who always paid close attention and remembered. Jay loved life!
One of Jay’s first jobs was as a camera man for the NY Mets. After college, he began a long career with the Prudential Insurance Co. of Roseland. He specialized in Systems Design and project management for many years. Jay retired at age 53 and fulfilled his lifelong dream of taking a road trip in his sports car, traveling across the country, visiting many friends along the way. It was a trip that he cherished and was proud of. Upon his return he started the next chapter of his life by enrolling at Rutgers to study biology. He went on to become a well respected Environmental Health Specialist for Ridgewood, Morris County, and Montville and proudly achieved hazmat certification, among other things.
Jay was a loving husband, devoted single father, beloved brother, uncle, and good friend who died far too soon. He will be deeply missed by all who loved and knew him.
In addition to his beloved parents, Jay was predeceased by his younger brother, Tommy McDermott. He is survived by his loving wife, Theresa “Tess” Ferree McDermott; one daughter, Miranda; two devoted sisters, Eileen Rutledge (Jim), and Marilyn Dolan; two grandchildren, Addison & Mckenna Schanks; and loving nieces, Janet Rutledge Giesen, Christine Rutledge Smith, Marie Dolan Taylor, and loving nephew, Michael Dolan.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend a visitation to celebrate Jay’s life on Monday, March 11, 2019 from 3:00 to 5:00PM at the Madison Memorial Home, 159 Main Street, Madison. All are also invited at 5pm to stay and share memories of Jay and a brief prayer. Cremation will be held privately at the family’s request.
In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions may be made in Jay’s memory to the Union of Concerned Scientists, or the Nature Conservancy, or the World Wildlife Fund.
For condolences to the family or further information, please visit our website at www.madisonmemorialhome.com