Terry McDermott, the founder of Auburn Hills, Mich.-based injection molder Champion Plastics Inc. and Olympic gold medalist, died May 20. He was 82.
"Even in retirement, Terry's dedication to his company and its employees remained unwavering … visiting on a weekly basis and lending a helping hand alongside the employees," a May 23 LinkedIn post by the company said. "His presence served as a reminder of his genuine care for the people and the business he had built."
McDermott represented the U.S. in the Olympics three times as speed skater, according to the Champion Plastics website. He was the only American athlete to win a gold medal at the 1964 Olympics and earned an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show the same night as the Beatles' U.S. television debut.
McDermott began his professional career as a barber in 1963. He worked as a manufacturers' representative before he founded Champion Plastics in 1980. McDermott also continued his work in speed skating as an Olympic coach and commentator.
"McDermott played a vital role in nurturing and shaping the careers of many aspiring athletes," the LinkedIn post said. "He will be remembered most as a loving husband, father, and friend. His warmth, generosity, and infectious enthusiasm touched the lives of everyone fortunate enough to know him … … [he] leaves behind a profound legacy of determination, resilience, and unwavering passion.
"[McDermott] will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and the entire Champion Plastics community," it added.
McDermott is survived by wife, Virginia, and five children. Visitation will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. on May 25 at Desmond and Sons in Royal Oak, Mich. The funeral will be held at 10 a.m. on May 26 at St. Hugo of the Hills in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.