Obituary Listings

James Underwood

April 27, 1939 December 25, 2018
James Underwood
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Obituary for James Underwood

James Douglas Underwood, 79, of West Des Moines, Iowa went home to be with the Lord on Christmas morning, December 25, 2018.

Jim was born in Des Moines on April 27, 1939, to Robert and Francis Dunlap Underwood. He was an only child and graduated from Roosevelt High School and the University of Iowa. At U of I, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in math and science and was the University of Iowa Chief Photographer for 4 years.

Jim was known by his peers as being a leader, “specializing in being a director.” After college Jim served in the Army National Guard for 8 years and he began his career as a director. Jim served as director for Iowa Department of Social Services, a Community Action Agency, and Executive Director of Iowa Comprehensive Human Services (ICHS) which focused on helping disadvantaged youth and adults to get their GED and continue on to find jobs. For 40 years Jim helped central Iowa youth and adults to become self-sufficient.

Jim had also been a volunteer member and leader of numerous civic organizations including Kiwanis and Homes of Oakridge. For Kiwanis, he was the Des Moines Downtown Club President, for Nebraska-Iowa he was District Lieutenant Governor Division 16 and served on the District Foundation as a Trustee for NE-IA. Major projects were started or highly supported by Jim such as “Pediatric Trauma Kit Program, Kiwanis Riverview Nature Island, Companionships for kids, Bringing up Grades, Character Education, etc.
At Oakridge Jim was Board President for 10 years. His legacy included building the Administrative, Housing, and Educational Building and receiving National Recognition from HUD.

After retiring, Jim enjoyed many hobbies including Men’s Gardening Club, Civil War Round Table, cooking gourmet meals, and traveling whenever possible.

Jim is survived by his loving wife Dr. Lois Smith-Underwood.

A visitation will be held Tuesday, January 8 at First Baptist Church, 8250 NW 62nd Ave. Johnston, Iowa from 10:00 – 11:00 AM. Funeral services will be from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM immediately following the visitation. The family would be honored to have all guests attend the funeral service and a luncheon after the services are completed.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Tuesday

8

Jan

10:00 AM 1/8/2019 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 1/8/2019 11:00:00 AM
First Baptist Church

8250 NW 62nd Ave
Johnston, IA 50131

First Baptist Church
8250 NW 62nd Ave Johnston 50131 IA
United States

Service

Tuesday

8

Jan

11:00 AM 1/8/2019 11:00:00 AM
First Baptist Church

8250 NW 62nd Ave
Johnston, IA 50131

First Baptist Church
8250 NW 62nd Ave Johnston 50131 IA
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Glendale Cemetery Final Resting Place

4909 University Ave
Des Moines, Iowa 50311

4909 University Ave Des Moines 50311 Iowa
United States
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