Raymond E. Underwood 86 of Swanzey, died on October 4th. with the love of his family at his side and in the comfort of his home.
He was born the son of Corene A . (Pike) and Raymond S. Underwood on January 16, 1923 in Springfield, MA. He was educated locally in Chesterfield and left after the tenth grade as so many of his generation did. He has been a resident of Swanzey since 1970 and also lived prior in Chesterfield.
Mr. Underwood is one of the greatest generation serving his country with honor in World War II as an Aircraft Armorer. He was assigned to the U.S. Army Airborne, 83rd. Airborne Squadron. He joined the Army with his best friend after Ray’s older brother, Chester was killed in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. While on active duty he was decorated with the European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon and a Good Conduct Medal. He served his country in the invasion of Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Central Europe. He was honorably discharged at the rank of Corporal on November 2, 1945.
After the war Raymond found love and took his vows with Jane E. Maxfield on October 13, 1950. They were married for 58 years before Jane passed on July 13, 2008.
Raymond was a carpenter for most of his life. He was a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local #108 for 60 years. He could fix almost anything. After he retired in 1990, Ray and his daughter Suzanne, mowed lawns and occasionally did house renovations together. Raymond did the carpentry and Suzanne painted and wallpapered. Raymond and his wife, Jane, also helped Suzanne deliver news papers for many years. He also worked part-time for his daughter, Jennifer, at Gomarlo’s Supermarket in West Swanzey.
He was a quiet man who was soft-spoken and had a wry sense of humor. Raymond was always there to help his children, neighbors and friends. He loved to be in the garden working the land. He would leave many a surprise basket of vegetables on a porch step, tying corn stalks to his children’s mail boxes in the fall and making the best applesauce around. Mr. Underwood also enjoyed hunting and fishing. He was well known as Mr. fix it and it was common to see him giving aid to animals. He was a strong, tolerant, kind-hearted and very forgiving man.
For the past three years, Raymond was lovingly cared for by his children; Suzy, Bette, Glennis, Scott and Jennie. His granddaughter, Anna Brown had a special bond with her grandfather and she gave special care to him in his time of need. We should all be so lucky. His son Scott, cooked meals, helped with his care and provided comfort and companionship. The challenges of caring for a loved one at home can be very overwhelming. We are comforted by the fact that we as a family were able to do this for our mom and then dad in the comforts of there home. As parents they helped their children attain things they never had themselves. Most of all the gave their time to us, which is priceless. We are most grateful to have been able to give it back.
Mr. Underwood is survived by his six children; Raymond E. Underwood Jr. of Barrington, Suzanne M. Bruno and her husband Anthony of Swanzey, Bette Underwood and her husband Lane Noyes of East Swanzey, Glennis Underwood-Barrett of Swanzey, Raymond S. Underwood of Swanzey and Jennifer Gomarlo and her husband Michael of Swanzey. He also leaves his siblings; Donald Underwood and his wife Marilyn of Chesterfield and a sister Glennis Paine of New York. His twelve grandchildren and six great grandchildren will miss his presence. Raymond also is survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends. He is pre-deceased by two siblings; Chester Underwood and Eleanor Johndro.
Calling hours will be held on Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral services will be conducted at 10 a.m. on Saturday with a Liturgy of the Word both in the funeral home. Burial will follow with full military honors at the Oak Hill Cemetery, Swanzey in the family lot. Friends are encouraged to attend. Services are under the direction of Cheshire Family Funeral Home, 46 South Winchester St. West Swanzey. www.cheshirefamilyfuneralhome.com