Chief Michael E. McDermed

Michael E. McDermed, 69 years old, Retired Fire Chief of the Atchison, Kansas Fire Department, passed away Thursday, March 30, 2017 at his home surrounded by his loving family.

Celebration of Life Services will be Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 2:00 P.M. at the Atchison Event Center, 710 S. 9th Street, Atchison, KS. Visitation with the family will be Tuesday, April 4, 2017 from 6:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M. at the Arensberg-Pruett Funeral Home. The family encourages dressing in bright colors or Hawaiian attire. Memorial contributions are suggested to the National Brain Tumor Society ( or the Michael McDermed Memorial Fund c/o City of Atchison.

Michael was born on April 26, 1947 in Topeka, Kansas the son of John and Minnie (Lipps) McDermed. He attended Franklin Elementary School in Atchison and graduated from Atchison High School in 1966. He was awarded numerous scholarships in the Arts and due to his athletic abilities in gymnastics received many athletic scholarships. He attended Kansas State University, participating in gymnastics, where he was an all-around champion.

He and the former Diane Kimmi were united in marriage on October 9, 1971 at St. Benedict’s Church in Atchison, Kansas with Fr. Roderic Giller, OSB as celebrant.

Prior to his employment with the Atchison Fire Department, Mike modeled for the Atchison Leather Products Company and served as an usher at the former Fox Theatre.

Mike began with the Atchison Fire Department on February 14, 1971 and was promoted to Fire Chief on June 1, 1981, where he served as Fire Chief for an unprecedented 35 years. He remained with the department until his retirement on June 17, 2016. Throughout his career he had several periods where he served as an interim City Manager.

He was a member of the National Association of Fire Chiefs, Kansas State Association of Fire Chiefs, and was an active participant in the Kansas League of Municipalities. He was an avid softball player in the Atchison community for many years. He enjoyed weekly trips to movie theatres to watch numerous different movies. Mike and Diane enjoyed their many years of traveling to Florida to spend time with their son and his family. He was also an avid sports fan of the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys. He was dearly loved by his many family friends and his co-workers.

Mike is survived by his wife of 45 years, Diane McDermed, of the couple’s home in Atchison, KS, a son, Brandon and his wife Dr. Jenna McDermed, Orlando, FL, two grandchildren, Elliet McDermed and Ronan McDermed, and a sister, Bev Crum, Parkville, MO.


The City of Atchison is remembering the life of longtime, former Fire Chief Mike McDermed.
McDermed died Thursday following a battle with brain cancer.
McDermed served the Atchison community for 45-years, with 35 of those spent as Fire Chief.
He retired last year due to his health issues.
In a press release issued by the City of Atchison Friday, Atchison Mayor Allen Reavis calls McDermed “an exceptional leader and devoted public servant,” adding that “he will be missed as a mentor and a role model.”
Along with his duties as Fire Chief, McDermed would serve as interim City Manager when that role needed to be filled due to an absence.
Funeral Services for McDermed are planned for Wednesday afternoon at 2:00 at the Atchison Event Center.
The family requests that guests wear Hawaiian, or bright colored clothing, at the celebration of McDermed’s life.
Atchison City Hall will be closed Wednesday afternoon to allow staff to attend the services.


Posted by Gwen Dorr Romine, KSFFA Webmaster
KSFFA’s Fire News Blog Home Page

1 Response to “Chief Michael E. McDermed”

  1. 1 Anonymous June 21, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    He was a great man!


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