In 1951, Doug became the first Pulaski High School graduate to be drafted by the pros, as a pitcher for the New York Giants. He spent time in the minor leagues, playing in Vidalia, Ga., Melbourne, Fla., and St. Cloud, Minn. Doug moved back to Wis., where he played ball in Oshkosh and opened the next chapter of his life, as a husband and dad. On Oct. 5, 1955, he married his high school sweetheart, Leah Lepak. Together they made a formidable team and began raising their close-knit family.
When Doug and and his new bride settled in Pulaski and his professional baseball career ended, he began a career with WG&R Furniture in Pulaski. In 1963, Furnitureland Inc. was founded. Doug helped build a strong foundation for Furnitureland, and was instrumental in making the company the successful business it remains today. Doug operated the business with honesty and integrity and treated everyone he met with those very same small-town values. Those principles and values have become the legacy he has given his family, as they plan to operate the business for many generations to come. Doug's love for baseball remained with him throughout his life. If you couldn't find Dad at the store you would find him at the ballfield, grooming the infield and sifting the sand on the pitcher's mound so that it was just perfect. In 1978, he started the Pulaski Reds, as part of the DairyLand League. Doug worked hard to make Memorial Field the best place in the area to play baseball. In 2005, thanks to the Pulaski Area Veterans, the diamond that was his passion was dedicated in his name.
Dad loved Pulaski and was very involved in the community. He held various positions with the Pulaski Area Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus Bishop Bona Council #4439, Pulaski Lions Club, and the Holy Name Society of Assumption B.V.M. Parish. In 1989, our dad was recognized for his civic contributions and impact within the community, and was named Man of the Year.
Dad was a man of strong faith. He served Assumption B.V.M. Parish as usher, lector and mass server for many years. He was also a co-founder of the Assumption B.V.M. School Trust Fund.
Survivors include two daughters and two sons; Debbie McDermid, Brussels; Ken (Mary) McDermid, Pat (Sheila) McDermid, and Mary (Mark) Wichmann, all of Pulaski; his grandchildren, Nicholas McDermid, who lived with dad and cared for him throughout his illness, Nathan (Nichole) McDermid, Morgan, Brooke, Tatum and Mason McDermid, Brandon, Brock, Drew and Ryan McDermid, Tyler and Cody Wichmann; four sisters, Beverly McDermid and Sara (Jay) Oneill, Las Vegas, Nev.; Sally (Bill) Ariens and Janice (Jim) Bushner, Milwaukee; nieces and nephews, other relatives and many friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Leah, in 2007, his parents, Ivan and Minnie, his brother, Larry, and an infant great-grandson, Noah McDermid.
Friends may call at Assumption B.V.M. Church, 124 E. Pulaski St., Pulaski, from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday. A Closing Prayer Service will be held at 8 p.m. The visitation continues after 9:30 a.m. Friday. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the church, Fr. Patrick Gawrylewski, O.F.M. presiding and Fr. Finian Zaucha, O.F.M. concelebrating. Burial will take place in the parish cemetery. Marnocha Funeral Home, Pulaski, is serving the McDermid family.
The family requests No Flowers, Please.
The McDermid family would like to thank Dad's very special friend, Wayland (Mop) Baron for his daily visits with Dad, and also, Dave Ollenburg and Heidi Thompson for their support and friendship during the past several years. A thank you is also extended to the caregivers from HomeInstead Senior Care, especially Dawn, Kevin, Nancy, Shawn, Sue and Tim, and to Unity Hospice, especially Sheryl, his favorite nurse during his last months.