Charline McDermott

Born in Iowa City, IA
Born on Aug 31, 1934
Departed on Oct 31, 2020


Charline Lorraine (Sear) McDermott, age 86 of Toddville, IA, went to be with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on October 31, 2020, at Shady Rest Care Center in Cascade, IA, after a 14- year progression of Alzheimer’s, and lastly COVID-19 complications, with her family near her. The visitation will be held at Cedar Memorial Funeral Home in Cedar Rapids, IA on Friday, November 6, 2020, 5-8 pm. As mandated by proclamation, social distancing must be practiced which requires a limited number of people to be allowed into the visitation at one time.  The use of face masks or shields is expected.  Private funeral Mass will be at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Hiawatha, IA. Rev. Gary Mayer will officiate assisted by deacons Dennis Mulherin and Frank Easton.  Private family burial to follow Mass at Dunkard Cemetery in Midway, IA.  A celebration of life will be held later in true McDermott fashion! 

Charline was born in Iowa City, IA, August 31, 1934, the eldest child to George and Frances (Junk) Sear. She graduated from Visitation Academy, Dubuque, IA in 1952 where she achieved high grades, enjoyed art, piano, basketball, and softball. Char married her high school sweetheart, Jack McDermott, April 24, 1954. Their life adventure began in Georgia while Jack served in the Army. Charline gave birth and cared for the first of their nine children, Patricia, their “Georgia Peach.” Char and Jack lived in Iowa City, IA; Utica, MI; Cedar Rapids, IA; and Toddville, IA where they raised their nine children.

In 1972, while attending a religious Cursillo retreat, Charline had a profound spiritual experience that was completely life changing. She surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ and was “Baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire” (Luke 3:16). From that day on, her passion and greatest desire was to be a witness for Jesus Christ, to share the unconditional love of God the Father and the New Life He promised. She flourished within the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. Her most trusted scriptural promise was, “Come to Me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  (Matthew 11:28)

Charline was active in her faith communities as a Eucharistic minister, prayer chain member, and church office volunteer. She regularly attended Prayer Group, Women’s Circle, Bible Study, Women’s Spiritual Retreats, C.E.W., Family Camp and M.O.M.S.-Ministry of Moms. Char enjoyed nurturing and mentoring young women in her parish as well as her own daughters and daughters-in-law. She was widely recognized as a faith-filled, wise, and understanding woman. Charline shared her love by blessing many with holy water and oil. She was devoted in praying for her family’s many needs and for the whole world. Charline’s spirit will live on in all those who knew and loved her. 

Charline’s most fulfilling role was as devoted wife and mother to her children and grandchildren. She learned to drive at age 39 which allowed her to get the children to all their varied activities. She loved her large family reunions and playing with the multitude of children who always loved to be around her. Her eyes lit up and she always reached out to the small baby in a mother’s arms--she was the best baby whisperer–calming many small grandchildren through the years.  Her grandchildren repeat her loving, light-hearted words today… “Be good, Grandma says!”

 Charline enjoyed a wide variety of interests and skills: served 25 years with local election polling sites, bowling, volleyball, golfing, sewing, Campfire Girls volunteer and Cub Scout den leader, arts and crafts, ceramics, sketching, furniture upholstery, cards and Euchre, piano music, movies, bird watching, gardening, canning black raspberry jam along with their plentiful garden harvests. She enjoyed canoeing, swimming, camping, fishing, and family vacations in the great outdoors. She was an avid reader and read late at night when it was peaceful and quiet in the house.

Charline’s love of reading opened her up to places in the world that she wanted to see. She made a list. Char and Jack loved traveling to see their family, seeing most U.S.A. states, western Europe, Ireland, Israel, China, Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand as well as cruising New England, Alaska, and the Caribbean. They crossed off all the places from that list! 

Survivors include her husband John P. (Jack) McDermott: seven daughters, Patricia Fossum, Marion, IA; Theresa (Kevin) O’Kane, St Paul, MN; Diane (Charles) Terrones, Robins, IA; Barbara (Bruce) Giza, Bettendorf, IA; Nancy (Rick) Herman, McGregor, MN; Janet (Gary) Rocarek, Vinton, IA; Sarah Wignall, Cedar Rapids, IA; and two sons, Stephen (Nancy Jo) McDermott, Apple Valley, MN; John (Geri) McDermott, Thornton, CO; sisters Marita (Jim) Theisen and Sandra (Jon) Billington, Dubuque, IA; Karen (Pat) Dillon, East Dubuque, IL and brother George (Marny) Sear, Glen Ellyn, IL. She is also survived by 29 grandchildren and their spouses, 48 great grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren, Mike Fossum, Steve Wignall, and many beloved in-laws, nieces, and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, George and Frances Sear, Dubuque, IA, infant sister Nancy Vitalis, and step great-great granddaughter Aurora Lee.

The family extends their deepest gratitude to Meadowview Memory Care, Cedar Rapids, IA, Shady Rest Care Center, Cascade, IA and Hospice of Dubuque for their loving kindness and care for our beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and sister.  Memorial donations may be made to Covenant House, NY, NY, Disciples of the Lord Jesus, Prayer Town, TX, or St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, Hiawatha, IA.