Sam was born in Bardwell, Kentucky, on June 5, 1925, and passed away peacefully in his sleep on September 23, 2012, in Bakersfield, CA.
Sam’s family moved out to California when he was young. He graduated from Kern County Union High School in 1943.
Upon graduation, Sam joined the U.S. Navy, and served his country in the Philippines during WWII, where he received a purple heart and watched General Douglas McArthur wade ashore. It was in the Seabees that Sam learned how to operate a crane.
After leaving the Navy, Sam worked several years for Standard Oil Company. Eventually, he started his own crane service, operating Underwood Crane Service until his retirement.
Sam enjoyed life. He loved jazz music, working with wood, reading, and traveling. His greatest joy, however, came from his service to his community as a Shriner. He enjoyed marching with the Shriner Drum and Bugle Corp, and loved helping children in his community get medical treatment at the Shriners’ Hospital. Sam was twice Master of the Taft Masonic Lodge #516. He received the Hiram Award, and his 50 year membership pin there.
Sam is survived by his wife, Jerry Underwood. Together they shared many adventures for over 40 years, showing their children how to love and laugh together through life.
Sam is also survived by his children, and their spouses: Terie Hankins, Mary Perry, Gary Underwood, Sam Jr., Michelle Mayfield, Steve Drewry, Linda Holt, and Keith Drewry, along with numerous grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Sam’s remains will be interred at the Bakersfield National Cemetery, and a Memorial is planned for a later date.