James Maxwell Underwood, 97, of rural Pleasant Hill, was born Saturday, December 12, 1914 on a farm north of Strasburg, the son of Max and Cora (Karr) Underwood. He departed this life at 1:03 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at the Pleasant Hill Health & Rehabilitation Center.
Max was a 1933 Lone Jack High School graduate.
He was a United States WWII Army veteran serving from February 1942 to September 1945. He served in England, France, and the Battle of the Bulge. He received two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star for his service.
In April 1982, Max was united in marriage to Blanche Beasley Veach.
They were fond of traveling and visited numerous states in their travels. They especially enjoyed Cypress Gardens, Opryland, Dollywood and the World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee. They spent a week in Canada, two weeks in Alaska, and two weeks in Europe. While in Europe they toured seven countries and attended the passion play in Oberammergau, Germany.
He was member of the Lone Jack Christian Church, a charter member of the Lone Jack Saddle Club, and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3118, Pleasant Hill.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Lex Underwood.
He is survived by his wife Blanche of the home; step-daughter Marianne (and Lyle) Seelinger of Pleasant Hill; his niece Billie Partain of Kingsville; his great-niece Jody (and Mark Spears) Lynn Gray of Kingsville; other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held Saturday, March 24, 2012, at the funeral home. Reverend Michael Stephens of the United Church of Christ, Raytown officiated. Music was rendered by Marlene Beasley. A final salute was hosted by the members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3118.
Graveside military services and interment were held in the Underwood Cemetery, Lone Jack with full military honors by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3118 Honor Guard. Casket bearers were Bill Cassidy, Gene Collins, Bob Farmer, Tim Flagler, Mark Spears, and Jack Wilkinson. Honorary Casket bearers were Harold Hackler, Wayne Miller, Don Smith, and Bill Talley.
Visitation was held prior to service at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Lone Jack Christian Church and may be sent in care of the funeral home.