of Conway, AR
August 19, 1935 - May 17, 2020
Dr. Cecil McDermott was born in Parkin, Arkansas on August 19th, 1935. He was preceded in death by his parents Joe McDermott and Myrtle McDermott , one brother Jesse McDermott, and two sisters, Vivian Crouch and infant Dorothy Genedel.He is survived by his wife Nelda McDermott, two sons Kevin (Robbie) and Stephen (Cynthia) and two grandsons, Josh and Derrick (Melissa) Vanderwall.Cecil graduated from Parkin High School and received an undergraduate degree from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, a Mathematics degree from Purdue University and a doctorate in Mathematics Education from Auburn University. Cecil's greatest passions were teaching and writing. His career included positions as State Supervisor of Mathematics, General Education Supervisor with the Arkansas Dept of Education, Director of the National Science Foundation Mathematic Summer Institute Masters Program for teachers at Tulane University, Professor of Mathematics and Department Chairman at Hendrix College, and Program Director of the Instructional Microcomputer Project for Arkansas Classrooms (IMPAC).Cecil authored numerous technical reports, articles and books related to mathematics teaching and learning as well as general topics. While at Hendrix he served as faculty representative for the Arkansas Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, and was inducted in the Hendrix Athletics Hall of Honor in 2000. He spoke often of family retreats and enjoyed family and friends coming together for holidays and birthdays. He enjoyed hikes with his wife to various parks along Arkansas trails. Contributions may be made to the Dr. Cecil McDermott scholarship fund established at Hendrix College.
As a member of the graduating class of 1970, I was among the many mathematics majors who were mentored and taught by Dr. McDermott. From the day he arrived on campus to head the department of mathematics, he had a profound influence on my life and career, and I know the same is true for many others fortunate enough to have been at Hendrix during his tenure. I especially treasure the many hours of conversation we had and the boundless encouragement he gave me.
Dr. McDermott encouraged all of his Mathematics majors at Hendrix College to develop their interest and ability in Mathematics and to continue their education in graduate school. Because of his encouragement and guidance, many of us went on to have satisfying careers and to work in very interesting fields. We were very fortunate to have Dr. McDermott influence us when we were college students.
So sorry for the loss of Dr. McDermott. My prayers are with the family. Looking back on my class of 73 classes, I remember his energy in the classroom. He really listened to your questions and helped you understand the answer fully. I still have my textbook on the shelf at home.
Nelda, Steve and Scott, it broke my heart to hear that Cecil had passed. It was a joy working with him at IMPAC for those 18 years. I learned so much from him! IMPAC was my first job. He took a chance on me and believed in me so much that it helped me to believe in myself. He was extremely instrumental in molding me into the professional that I am today. I have so many great memories of him. He will be greatly missed. I will keep you guys in my prayers.
Cecil McDermott was a positive influence on my life early in my career. He is the one that influenced me to continue in education to earn my doctoral degree from UALR. Cecil and Nelda were both in attendance for the graduate party which meant a lot to me.
Dr. McDermott was influential in my years at Hendrix College and beyond. Being Hendrix’s AIC faculty representative, he seemed just as excited and I was when he approved my independent statistical class project on the Correlation Between the Height of PGA Golfers and Their Driving Distance and Scoring. He was one of the finest men I knew and was instrumental in my induction in the Hendrix Hall of Honor in 2002 where he had been honored in 2000. I am so grateful I knew this kind man and extend my deepest sympathies to his family.
My deepest thoughts and prayers to the family of Dr. Cecil McDermott. Cecil was a great teacher, advisor, and friend to his students at Hendrix, in both the mathematics and educational academic areas. He was my advisor while at Hendrix and helped me to explore previously undiscovered areas of interest. I was fortunate to have also spent many hours with him outside of class, where he helped me to explore by future goals and to reach beyond my expectations. I thank his family who shared him with us for those many years. Dwayne Johnson
Sending love and light to the McDermott family. We were so very fortunate to have known Cecil. He had a deep impact on our lives from Hendrix College and beyond. This abiding connection spoke to his depth of character. He was a kind and loving person to Olivia, Katie, and Jolyon. He was a wonderful godfather, writer, and adventurer. With Cecil, our family knew that there was always a creek to explore, a good conversation to be had, and always ... always, a poem to write.Love, Liz and Tammy
Dr. McDermott was my math professor at Hendrix, and such a kind man, and an excellent instructor. I'm so sorry to hear of his passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
We are holding the McDermott family in our hearts and thoughts now. I will remember Dr. McDermott's smile and his helpfulness during many fundraising events when it was just families doing much of the heavy work. We wish you peace and comfort.
To the Family, I came to Mr Cecil working for my dad (Starkey's Auto Clinic). He was a wonderful man and always had time to visit He will be Greatly missed.Tim
Nelda & family-Thank you for sharing him with us at PROJECT IMPAC! He inspired me to continue my education and I will forever be in your and his debt for all I am becoming!
As a valued member of Conway Writers Group, Cecil regularly shared his essays and poems with the group. His academic credentials affirmed his thoughtful writings and positive outlook on life.During the past year or so, he gathered his writings for presentation to designated libraries as his legacy to others. He heeded the advice of an author who said, "Write what must not be forgotten."CWG members honor his many achievements and respect his literary and educational achievements, and offer condolences to his widow and family.Mike H. MottlerMember and Scribe, Conway Writers Group
Nelda, Scott, snd Steve,I am heartbroken to learn of Cecil’s passing. He was a great influence and mentor to me. I consider it an honor to have known him while working at IMPAC. Praying you all will find peace and comfort in warm and loving memories. My very sincere condolences. Danita Hyrkas
My sincerest condolences to the McDermott Family. I knew Dr. McDermott from my time at Hendrix. He was one of my favorite professors and was a great help to the swimming program there as AIC representative. He will be greatly missed.
I do wish you all the comfort that is possible at a time like this. It seems old friends only come around at times like these. I wish I could see you in person to express my heart felt sympathy.
Scott,I am so sorry for your loss! I will keep your family in my thoughts and prayers.