James “Jim” W. Underwood

December 22, 1950 ‒ September 12, 2016

Lexington, Ohio

James “Jim” W. Underwood, a proud resident of Lexington, passed away, at his home surrounded by his loving family, Monday, September 12, 2016.

Jim was born December 22, 1950 to Richard and Rita (Newcomer) Underwood in Mansfield. He attended St. Mary’s Catholic School until 8th grade, where he then attended and graduated from Crestview High School. Jim played football and basketball, and baseball at Crestview.

Jim attended Ohio Northern University, NCTC, and received his Bachelors Degree in Business, from Mt. Vernon Nazarene University.

While working at Therm-O-Disc, Jim met a beautiful young lady named Deborah R. Harpster and the pair later married on December 27, 1974.

Jim had two loves in life… his family and his country. He fought like hell until the end to love, protect, and defend them both. Jim spent more than half of his life defending his county. Jim enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, where he spent 3 years until being transferred to the U.S. Air National Guard, and the Ohio Air Guard. He retired as Lt. Col. and Commander of Logistics Readiness Squadron at Mansfield Lahm, after 35 ½ years.

Jim was a member of the Starcraft Camping Club and made outstanding and lifelong friends.  Jim loved his camping family, and cherished every moment that he could spend with them. In August, just after Jims last treatment, he was strong enough to enjoy the week at the River Run Campground, with his family and closest of camping friends. He had an absolutely wonderful time.

Jim was a lifetime member of the AMVETS Post 26 and served as a trustee at the Elks Lodge 2554. The Elks was a second home to Jim and loved his family there so much.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years Deborah R. Underwood; daughters Erin Rue Underwood and Dana (Joe) Thornton; granddaughters Eyan Underwood, Lilli Thornton, and Kylie Thornton; sisters Judy Frederick (Amanda & Eric), Jackie (George) Ullrich (Stacia & Suzie); father-in-law Edward Harpster; sister-in-law Dolores (Chad) Jones, their children Brandon, Brian (Courtney), and Kevin; adopted son Jarrod Strouth.

In addition to his parents, Jim is preceded in death by his mother-in-law Lillian (Reel) Harpster.

Thanks to Hospice, Dr. Ghany and the awesome nurses at Avita Specialist Unit at Galion Hospital, and to our family and friends that helped and supported Jim and his family through this most difficult time.

Jim’s family will receive friends on Saturday, September 17, 2016 from 12- 3 p.m. at the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home, with an Elk’s ceremony and Military Honors to follow. His family asks that family and friends come prepared to write a memory in Jim’s honor.

Contributions in Jim’s memory to Richland County Humane Society or the Elks National Foundation may be made at the funeral home.

Snyder Funeral Homes is honored to serve Jim’s family and encourage you to share a fond memory or message of condolence to them at SnyderFuneralHomes.com

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  • With deepest sympathy we are sending our love and prayers. So very sorry for your loss.
    RIP Jim
    Paul and Kristi Decker

  • Deborah, Erin and family,

    With deepest sympathy, so sorry for your loss. Jim was a great mentor in my military career. Jim will bet sorely missed by so many lives he touched!
    RIP Jim

    David and Diann Vesper

  • With my deepest sympathy, I’m sending my prayers and love. Col Underwood was a great friend as well as Commander of the 179th Logistics Squadron. Col hired me from Rickenbacker and always been thankful for him to believe in me and to take a chance on me. God Bless!

  • Deborah, Erin and family,

    Our love and prayers. Jim will always be remembered ! I always got to see Jim on a daily basis at the 179th for some 30 years. Jim we all salute your service to the USA and OANG.
    RIP fellow airman, until we meet again .

  • Our Love and deepest sympathy to Debbie and family. We are sorry for your loss. We so miss seeing you every year at the Pot Luck. We will try to come to say our good bye’s

    God will take care of him now.

    Love Bob and Tina White (Former StarCraft members)

  • Deb, our thoughts and prayers to you, the girls and your entire family. I will always remember the great times working with Jim. It was my honor to have served with him all those years in the Guard. What a wonderful legacy he leaves behind.

    I have thought about you often since our last meeting. My heart goes out to you.

    He is with our Father now and He will take over now.

    Love – Dick and Faline Rowland

  • Deb, Erien, & Dana,
    We are so very sorry to receive this news about Jim. He was such a kindhearted gentle man with a great sense of humor. We remembering when driving to your home with our camper and Jim giving us directions and saying just take a turn at the corn field and we looked every dirction there were corn fields and we laughed so hard. We pray for you & your family, may God bless you and take care of you at this difficult time.
    Our Sympathy & Love
    Tom & Debbie Murray, NH

  • I was privileged to care for Jim and am saddened at his passing. May Jesus hold you in His comforting arms.

  • Deb, Erin, Dana and family,
    You are in our prayers. Love you all very much!! May God bless you and get you through this tough time.

  • So sad to hear of Jim passing. May his love for all of you be remembered. Prayers and hugs from “old” camping friends. Sue & Dick Driscoll, MA.

  • Deb, Erin, Dana, & family – So sorry to hear the news of Jim’s passing. He was a great man with a big heart and sense of humor. Thoughts and prays to you and your family. Love Sean

  • Joe,Dana and family. My sincere condolences on the passing of Dana’s dad. My
    prayers for the days ahead.
    Becky Wilson (Mike).

  • Please accept our sincere sympathy at Jim’s passing. Worked with Jim for a lot of years during the C-130 era. Couldn’t ask for a greater friend and coworker. Unfortunately we are out of town until next week and won’t be able to attend services. Please know we’ll be thinking of you all during this difficult time.

  • I served with Jim at the 179th. He demonstrated his love for the 179th by supporting the mission and listening to the members. He was well thought of and will be missed by many. My thoughts and prayers are with his family. RIP, Col Jim.

  • Deb
    We were so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. He was such a great guy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Deborah, Erin, Dana also Jackie and Judy:

    Please accept our sincere condolences regarding Jim’s sad passing.
    May his soul rest in peace.
    We will remember you in our prayers.
    May Our Lord grant you Eternal Rest until we all meet again.
    Love from your Irish family :
    James and Patrick from Co. Armagh, Ireland and from Brigid McEldrew-Ghandan and husband, Harry, in Richmond, British Columbia.

  • Deb,

    So very sorry for your loss. Our prayers and condolence are with you and your family. It was a pleasure to have known Jim and I enjoyed the times I shared with him at First Congregational in Lexington.

    Joe Kessler

  • To the Underwood family, I am so sorry for the loss of Jim. I served with him at the 179th, he was an amazing man, commander & friend. He always took care of his military family & was so supportive of those who served with him. I have many great memories on deployments with Col Underwood. May God be with you all during this difficult time.

    Vickie L West
    Retired Chief
    179th Ohio ANG

  • To the Underwood family,

    I was so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. We were childhood friends and I have fond memories of the times we spent together. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Diann (Nixon-Hand)