Thomas Patrick McDermott, a beloved member of the Board of Directors of Rostro de Cristo and dear friend of Fr. Jim Ronan, died on January 25, 2009, in a car accident in Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, while on vacation with two close friends. Tom worked for Ernst & Young, LLC for 38 years, most recently as the managing director of the New England region. He also served for five years as the managing partner for the South American Region of Ernst and Young in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
After his retirement in 1993, Tom devoted his time to family, charity and corporate governance. Most recently, he served on the boards of: Investors Financial Services Corp., Harvard University — LASPAU, ACCION International, Endeavor Inc., Pioneer Institute, American Antiquarian Society, and Rostro de Cristo. He also served as an executive-in-residence at the Institute for the Latin American Business at Babson College.
Tom will be remembered for his happy devotion to his children and grandchildren, the kindness and humor he showed to friends and strangers alike, his commitment to live a life of service to others, his international business expertise and his love for h is wife, Maria. Over the years, Tom’s fascination with the south of Chile grew as he made annual trips there with former partners, close friends and family. He wanted to share Patagonia’s breathtaking beaut y with everyone. In fact, our own Pat McTeague and Sonya Rendon, from Nuevo Mundo, recently enjoyed a brief vacation there on his advice.
Fr. Ronan shared this of Tom: Tom has been a close friend of mine for many years. He was the first member of the Board of RdC and advised me in countless ways during these years of growth and development. All of us know of his brilliance and immeasurable spirit and enthusiasm for life and especially for the critical issues of economic development and service for the undeveloped world of Latin America. Our sadness at this time is more for us and Tom’s dear wife and family than for Tom. Most assuredly he now sees with even greater vision and knows an even more boundless joy – for all time.
Tom was so deeply generous of his time, talents and treasures. One gift our former volunteers may remember is that Tom McDermott was the Board member, who so generously donated funds for RdC to share an inspirational book for all former alumni. Most recently, Rostro de Cristo was able to send its volunteers the book, Santiago’s Children, through Tom’s generosity. Many former volunteers were touched by the book and have sent notes of appreciation for receiving it.
It is with deepest sympathy that we, as the Rostro de Cristo community, send our thoughts and prayers to Tom’s family and friends. We have been so blessed to have been touched by his life. At the funeral mass one of the speakers called Tom, a dreamer with plans. He was that and so much more to Rostro de Cristo. He will live in the hearts of all those he touched here at Rostro de Cristo. May God grant Tom eternal life and peace.