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William McDiarmid

Obituary for William McDiarmid

January 17, 1925 - April 18, 2020
Parma Heights, Ohio | Age 95

Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather


William A. McDiarmid, age 95, of Parma Heights, Ohio, passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 18, 2020. Beloved husband of the late Rose A. McDiarmid (nee Nicoll), dear father of Bruce (Karen), Brian (Carol) and Dale (deceased), four grandchildren: Dr. Matthew, Meredith, Laura and Michael.

William graduated from University High School June 1943, being inducted into the Army Air Corps, July 1943. Flew B-17 as Co-Pilot in England April – June 1945. Entered the Air Force Reserves 1945 – 1950. Attended Baldwin Wallace College, graduating in 1950 with a Physical Education Major and a Math Minor. He pitched for the BW Baseball Team for 4 years.

Returned to Air Force active duty October 1950, flying C-119 during the Korean Conflict. He was stationed on Kyushu Island, Japan beginning August 1951 where he met U.S. Army Nurse, Lt. Rose Nicoll (Micky) several weeks later. William was discharged from the Air Force January 1953. Rose and William were married August 1953. William entered the Air Force Reserves 1955, and retired from the Air Force in 1971 as Lt. Colonel, amassing over 6000 hours flying time.

William and Rose moved to Parma Heights, Ohio in 1953, where he taught Algebra at Schaaf Junior High School from 1953 – 1982 and Greenbriar Junior High School until his retirement in 1983.

William and Rose enjoyed traveling to the Southwestern United States.

He was a family history "buff" researching his family tree, with tracings back to the Civil War.

Where did you go to school?

Seriously; Where did you go to school?

Made you think, didn't I?

"Where did you go to school"; was Dad's opening line. Heck, it was Dad's only opening line. He never missed an opportunity to talk to a new person, be it at the grocery store, bank, hospital, basically anywhere. You name the place, you can bet he has asked someone; "Where did you go to school?" Great Ice breaker, huh? Sometimes I would even try to "Block" his initial interaction by directing him to a register with no line, or positioning myself between him and his target. It didn't work very many times, he always had a way to circumvent any physical barrier. Oh sure, some people would blow him off, but many answered him knowing they were now trapped in a conversation they had no desire to enter. But every once in a while, some person would gladly answer and continue the conversation that identified a common link they both shared. Maybe it was the same school, or the same teacher, or maybe he had them in his class, or even their brother, sister, mom or dad. Maybe they lived on the same street as he/we did years ago. Dad made a new friend, even if for a minute or two. Both lives have now been enriched.

Dad taught JR High Math/Algebra to probably thousands over the course of 30 years. He taught 2 generations, and when the 3rd generation began to show their faces, he retired. Many of those he did have in class absorbed his love of people and have taken this life lesson with them into adulthood. More times than I can count, I have been approached in department stores, Banks, Hospital parking lots, High School gyms by complete strangers asking me if I was related to "Bill McDiarmid", or they saw me with him, and they asked me if he was Mr. McDiarmid. Yes, we have a unique name, unique spelling, there's not many of us, so the chances are high that their suspicion or memory was correct. Now I have a new friend if only for a moment.

In the age of Social Media, this generation is missing out on personal face to face interactions that is critical to their very existence. This method of communication is even creeping into our/my realm. Sad, isn't it? We need to encourage ourselves and our progeny to talk to others with their voices not their fingers.

Today we tend to honor those who have passed on, with beautiful flowers, donations to a charity, or even giving a new generation their name. But if you truly want to Honor Bill McDiarmid, have the nerve to ask a complete stranger; "Where did you go to School?".

Bruce McDiarmid

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