McDERMOTT, Anthony Xavior "He loved three types of animals: dogs, horses, and Bruins" Tony McDermott, of Hermosa Beach, died June 1, 2010, surrounded by those who loved him most: his son Tim and daughter-in-law Aimee Calfin, of Los Angeles, former wife Nancy Graves, of Missoula, MT, and girlfriend Cindy Johnsen, of Pacific Palisades. Tony had suffered a massive stroke on May 29. He was born July 2, 1939, to Jack and Ann McDermott (nee Giovannone) in Teaneck, New Jersey. He acquired the nickname "Skippy" in infancy based on his resemblance to his grandfather, Michael "Skip" McDermott, who was a proud son of County Roscommon. Skippy grew up in Dumont, NJ, until the summer of '48, when, on a day that he considered one of the saddest in his life, his family boarded a train that didn't stop until it reached Union Station. In Los Angeles Skip attended Cathedral Chapel School and Loyola High School. He had fond memories of ballgames at the Park La Brea playground and working at Desmond's Department Store during that time. In the summer of '55 his family moved to Vista, CA, where he graduated from Vista High in 1956. Tony earned bachelors and law degrees from UCLA in 1961 and 1965, respectively. His lifelong love of Bruin athletics was notable for its ferocity, as well as an occasional disregard for social niceties. In addition to his love of the blue and gold, Tony was lifelong fan of horse racing. After a brief stint of practicing law Tony embarked on a career in legal education that spanned more than four decades. From 1967 to 1969 he served as the admissions director of the UCLA Law School. He helped institute that school's affirmative action admissions policy, which remained his proudest professional accomplishment. Professor McDermott also held teaching appointments at the law schools of Denver, Loyola, Oregon, and Santa Clara before coming to the Pepperdine University School of Law in 1982. In his 28 years at Pepperdine he mentored scores of students, taught a wide array of courses, and became a beloved member of the faculty. Skip is also survived by numerous cousins in Bergen County, NJ, and elsewhere on the East Coast. His loyal dogs, Otter, Lucky, and Joey, miss him as well. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, June 9 at American Martyrs Catholic Church, 624 15th St, in Manhattan Beach. Inurnment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City. A reception will be held afterwards at Hollywood Park, where the Skip McDermott Memorial race will be run that afternoon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Wooden Athletic Fund, UCLA Intercollegiate Athletics, Att'n Neema Barbod, PO Box 24044, Los Angeles, CA 90024, or to the Skip McDermott Student Scholarship Fund, c/o Pepperdine University School of Law, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA, 90263, Att'n Brad Benham Skip's family asks that if you have the chance, please take in a stray dog when possible, and if you're ever in Bergen County, stop into the Hackensack Bakery and have a lemon ice in his honor.

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  1. Dear Tim and Aimee, We are so sad to hear about your father. He leaves a wonderful legacy in his family and his work. With deepest sympathy, Margaret Honda and Morgan Fisher

  2. Tony was such a special and giving person. His view of life was to help other people, and he did it for legions of students, friends and others. It was such an honor for Sandi and me to be invited to his 70th birthday party, and what a great event it was. A typical example of his generosity is that when I retired from my job, Tony was out of town for my retirement party. He sent in and paid for two reservations even though he could not be there, a totally unnecessary but typically generous act. I always enjoyed all of our conversations and his great and boundless enthusiasm. I will miss him very much.

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