Robert M. Underwood, Santa Barbara CA/formerly Whitewater, WI (1924 - 2012)
March 27, 1924 - November 22, 2012
Robert M. Underwood, 88, of Santa Barbara, CA, and formerly of Whitewater, passed away peacefully at Serenity House in Santa Barbara, CA, on Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 22, 2012. Bob was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather and a man who truly represented the best of “the greatest generation.”
Bob was born in Ravenna, OH, on March 27, 1924, to Clyde and Ruth Underwood. His family moved to Dayton, OH, where he graduated from Fairmont High School in 1942. From 1943 to 1945, Bob served in the US Air Force as a navigator assigned to the 8th Air Force, 351st Bomb Group, 509th Bomb Squadron, stationed in England.
In 1945, Bob met the woman who would become his wife of almost 66 years, Shirley Traxler. They were married in Milwaukee on Dec. 28, 1946. Destined to a career as an educator, Bob attended the University of Kentucky, where he earned his Master’s degree. It was there they had their first child, Steve. Three years later, they were blessed with a daughter, Jo Anne. Bob taught at Cedarville College in Ohio, where he also coached a number of sports teams. In 1965, he graduated from the University of Northern Colorado, where he earned his Education Doctorate. He taught at Bethel College in St. Paul, MN, and completed his career as a geography professor for 20 years at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Upon retirement, Bob and Shirley moved to Bella Vista, AR, and enjoyed many years of golf and activities with friends. In August of 2005, Bob and Shirley moved to the senior community of Maravilla in Goleta, CA. where Shirley still resides.
Bob is survived by his beloved wife, Shirley; his two children, Steve (Barbara) Underwood of Santa Barbara, CA, and Jo Anne (Mike) Frawley of Whitewater; four grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Richard.
A memorial service will be held at the Maravilla Clubhouse in Goleta, CA. on Thursday, Nov. 29, at Noon.