Retired Maj. Earl F. Underwood, 87, formerly of Rapid City, S.D., died Friday, Dec. 19, 2008, at University Hospital and Clinics in Columbia.
Funeral services were held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 22, 2008, at Campbell-Lewis Chapel in Marshall, with Rev. Dave Huck officiating. Visitation was held from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Monday at the funeral home. Burial will be held at a later date in Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis, S.D. Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church in Marshall. Friends may sign the online register book at www.campbell-lewis.com.
Born April 3, 1921, in Blue Rapids, Kan., he was the son of the late Fred Siemers and Olive Lucille Worthington Siemers. On Jan. 7, 1942, in Rapid City, S.D., he married Pearl Kukuk, who survives. He lived most of his life in Rapid City and was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Rapid City. He retired as a major in the U.S. Army after serving 23 years. He served during World War II in the European Theatre and in the Battle of the Bulge, being personally decorated by General Patton. He also served with the Atomic Energy Commission in the Marshall Islands, South Pacific, in 1954, in the testing of hydrogen bombs. After military retirement, he worked in Washington, D.C., for the U.S. Government Bureau of the Budget. Upon returning to Rapid City, he worked for Wells Fargo Bank and Barber Transportation Company. He was a life member of V.F.W. and Retired Officers' Association.
Additional survivors include two sons, Rev. Earl F. Underwood and wife, Laura, of Fremont, Neb., and James C. Underwood and companion, Shirley Schundelmier, of Westerville, Ohio; two daughters, Jeanne L. Simonton-Topel and husband, George, of Marshall and Joy E. Drew and husband, John, of Atlanta, Ga.; six grandchildren; seven step-grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; 13 step-great-grandchildren; one sister, Dorothy Beaird-Plagens of Rapid City; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his step-father, John Underwood; one grandson, Tate Simonton; and two sisters, Frances Burr and LaVonne Robertson.
Additional information provided per family recompense.