Ada Belle McDermott was the person who held together Loveland Lawns from behind the counter of the Omaha landscaping company.

McDermott handled such responsibilities as answering the phones and balancing the books, her son Michael said.

But she also balanced her husband, Joe, who was Ada’s business partner and the creative genius of the family before he died in 2010, Michael said.

Ada died of pancreatic cancer on Feb. 13 at age 94.

“My mother was the glue that kept my crazy father from spinning off into outer space,” Michael said.

Ada grew up on the farm in Steele City and Wilber, Nebraska. Her father died just after she graduated from high school, and she helped her mother and some of her six siblings who still lived on the family farm.

She also attended the University of Nebraska, where she met Joe McDermott in 1942.

Her son said that provided McDermott with a sense of responsibility for the rest of her life, especially when it came to the family business.

That business had its roots in the McDermotts’ sons, Michael and Patrick, starting a neighborhood lawn mowing business in 1958 when Joe was ill. Neighbors were impressed with the service, and after Joe recovered, he and Ada were looking for a new opportunity.

They bought a greenhouse at 9816 F St., started selling grass seed out of the garage and created Loveland Lawns.

The company, which still exists as Loveland Grass Pad, a combination of the original name and their popular sod farm, the Grass Pad, has become a staple in Midwest lawn and garden products.

Michael said his mother always provided a solid moral base for the family and had a passion for charity, giving to the Catholic community and supporting Mount Michael Benedictine High School and Creighton Prep.

Ada was preceded in death by her husband, her sisters, Angeline Barta and Dorothy Applegate, and brother, Daniel Barta. She is survived by her sister, Eunice Kuhns; brothers, Eugene Barta and Clair Barta, her two sons and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1304, news@owh.com

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