Gerald Underwood

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Gerald Underwood, 93, of Palm Bay, Fla. passed away on March 31, 2015. He was born in Piggott, Ark. to Jimmy and Ethel (Cox) Underwood and was the fourth of 10 children. He married Janet Still of Detroit, Mich. in 1950.

He attended Piggott schools, played on the Mohawk football team and graduated in the class of 1940. This class was known as the "brothers and sisters class". After graduation, he enlisted in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and was stationed at Winona, Minn. Very soon, World War II started and Mr. Underwood joined the U. S. Navy and served from 1942 until the war ended in 1945. He served on the Destroyer, USS John D. Ford whose mission was to seek out enemy submarines. He reached the rank of Carpenter's 2nd mate. Mr. Underwood was one of five Underwood brothers that served in the armed services during this wartime period.

After being discharged from the Navy, he (along with many of his Arkansas buddies) migrated to the Detroit, Mich. area seeking jobs. Mr. Underwood began work for the New York Central Railroad in the late 40s and spent his working career with New York Central and their successors in the Detroit area.

After retirement, he and his wife, Janet moved to Palm Bay where they have resided since 1980. Mr. Underwood was an outdoor person, an avid golfer, possessed a great sense of humor and enjoyed being around people and socializing with veterans. He was a member of VFW Post #4506, and American Legion Post #117 in Palm Bay.

Mr. Underwood was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Mary Schnaak and his brothers, Jimmy Gene Underwood, Etheridge Underwood, Leon Underwood and Charles Underwood. He is survived by his wife of 65 Years, Janet, of Palm Bay; his sisters, Jan Lea Mann of Piggott, Ark. and Betty Cash of Panama City Beach, Fla. and his brothers, Herschel Underwood of Chesterfield Township, Mich. and Larry Underwood of Derby, Kan.

Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday April 4, 2015 at Fountainhead Memorial Park. 7359 Babcock Street SE Palm Bay, Fla., 32909. The family asks in lieu of flowers to please send all donations to Disabled American Veterans (D.A.V.)