Mary Underwood (August 13, 1921 – June 20, 2015)
Mary B. Underwood passed away quietly on June 20, 2015, in Moore, Oklahoma, at the age of 93. She was born on August 13, 1921, to William D. and Lydia B. Rickard in Tishomingo, Mississippi. She married John O. Underwood, Jr., after he returned from World War II in 1945. John worked for the federal Civil Service with the Center for Disease Control, which took them to many places around the country. Mary normally worked in a secretarial capacity wherever they went. In 1963, John and Mary moved to Oklahoma, and she worked at the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Together, they raised a family of four independent and successful children: Larry, Steve, Deborah, and Jeff. In addition to her children, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, who knew her as “Nana,” survive Mary.
After John passed away in 1972, Mary channeled her great strength into helping others. She served as the director of the Moore Senior Center from the late 1970s into the middle 1980s. An accomplished painter of molded ceramics, Mary taught the art to others at the Senior Center. A devout Christian, she was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Moore, Oklahoma.
At Mary’s request, she will be laid to rest beside her husband in a private ceremony at the Tishomingo Cemetery in Tishomingo, Mississippi. In lieu of flowers, Mary would prefer donations be made to wildlife charities.