Tuesday, March 17, 2015
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
Gracespring Bible Church
8643 Gull Road
Richland, MI 49083
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Wounded Warrior Project
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
It didn't take much to make Rich Underwood happy. Whether taking a relaxing drive down country roads on a sunny afternoon with the feel of the wind at his back on his Harley, or working in his pole barn to his heart's content, Rich found pleasure in these things and more. Above all, it was the family he loved that brought Rich the greatest joy. Blessed with the friendships of many, he was well liked and respected by his peers. Rich freely gave straight from the heart. He was an old soul who worked hard, and loved big. His memory will continue to live on in the hearts of those who knew and loved him.
The decade of the sixties was an eventful time in the nation, yet a half-century ago in 1964, great strides were being made, especially in space travel. The Beatles took America by storm while race riots and anti-war demonstrations filtered throughout the country. The Vietnam War was news of the day, and the first Ford Mustang rolled off the assembly line. It was during this time on August 20, 1964 when the only thing on the minds of Richard and Donna (Wheeler) Underwood of Kalamazoo, Michigan was the birth of their beloved son, Richard Allen Underwood Jr.
The second of three children, Rich joined his sister, Sharlene, and later welcomed younger sister, Kelly. His mother remained at home with Rich and his sisters while his father supported their family working at the paper mill in Parchment. Rich enjoyed the typical adventures of boyhood. He participated in little league and rocket football sports until high school when he became quite interested in the building trade where he was very hands-on and involved. With his likeable nature and fun-loving ways, he liked getting together with friends to hang-out. Rich went on to graduate from Vicksburg High School with the Class of 1982.
Following high school, Rich enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served his country in combat engineering for several years while stationed in Germany. There he experienced a culture similar yet unlike his own. After returning home to Michigan following his honorable discharge on a Thursday, Rich told his dad he would have a job by Monday. A man of his word, that very Monday Rich approached Pro Services for a any position they would have for him. He was hired in plumbing which in time led Rich's membership in the Pipefitter-Plumber Union Local 357 for over 25 years. A testament to his perseverance and hardworking demeanor, he remained with Pro Services for some before becoming a site manager at Pfizer with Jacobs Engineering where he worked for the last eight years of his career.
While working at Pro Services, Rich met a young woman named Lori Tooley. He knew from the start there was something special about Lori, and although they intially didn't get along, Rich fell in love with her well before she liked him. Rich broke all the rules she had for men, and he was persistent in every way possible. He often invited her to places, and continued to work on her heart until they eventually became a couple. Deeply in love, Rich and Lori were happily married on August 10, 2009 in Wisconsin in the chapel of the nursing home where Lori's father resided.
Rich could not have been happier. With Lori by his side, and his love for his two boys, Richard Allen "Trey" Underwood III and Nolan Clayton Underwood from his previous marriage, Rich felt blessed. Together he and Lori made a good home together, and he loved his children with a passion. He worked hard to provide for his family, and was often referred to as a workaholic. Cookouts on the grill always made for great times together. Rich was a good cook on the grill, and he fried the best fish, something he learned from his dad. At home, Rich was very handy. Just recently he built his own pole barn with the added help of Lori. Rich collected model airplanes and had plans for making some he was going to hang in his pole barn “man cave”.
To Rich, there wasn't anything quite like riding his Harley. He relished his 2013 Ultra Electra Glide Limited Edition, and pampered it to perfection. He and Lori especially loved and created wonderful memories riding it to Tennessee in 2014. When it came to music, country and classic rock were his favorites, but he liked a variety of genres, and recently took Lori to see Neil Diamond. Rich also liked to fish and enjoyed fishing trips to Canada with his family. Through the years he and his family enjoyed several trips which made for memorable times.
Family was by far what Rich placed his love into. They were his source of pride and joy, and very important to him. He loved and cherished his nieces and nephews. The love he had for his parents was a treasure, and his mom conveyed Rich was the best son a mother could ask for. From friends to family, Rich was respected, and everyone who met him instantly thought highly of him.
Rich was an old soul who appreciated the past in a nostalgic way. He liked to reminiscence about the old days, and he had a sentimental side which endeared him to those who knew him best. Along with relaxing by way of long country drives, Rich also found yard work relaxing. It helped gather his thoughts, dreams for the future, and recalling all life had blessed him with. Rich had a quiet faith. He loved his God, and never doubted he would one day meet Jesus face to face. Deeply loved, Rich will be fondly remembered for all he gave and more.
Richard Allen Underwood, Jr., of Vicksburg passed away Thursday, March 12, 2015 at the age of 50. He is survived by his wife, Lori; two sons: Richard “Trey” Allen (Vanessa) Underwood, III and Nolan Clayton Underwood; his parents: Richard Allen, Sr and Donna (Wheeler) Underwood; two sisters: Sharlene (Matt) Wedel, of Fulton and Kelly (Jerry Jansen) Knapp, of NV; several nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends on Monday, March 16, 2015 from 4-7 PM at the Life Story Funeral Home-Vicksburg, 409 S. Main (269-649-1697). The funeral service for Rich will be held Tuesday, March 17, 2015, 11:00 AM at Gracespring Bible Church, 8643 Gull Road, Richland. Burial at Vicksburg Cemetery. Please visit Rich’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign his online guestbook, share a favorite memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project.