Charles Thomas Underwood, Sr., 94, resident of Wesley Commons, husband of Opal Townsend Underwood, known as “Charlie” by everyone who met him, passed away Tuesday, February 8, 2022, at Wesley Commons Health and Rehabilitation Center, Greenwood, SC.
Born June 24, 1927, in Fayetteville, NC, he was the son of the late Charles Thomas Underwood and Gladys Andrews Underwood. A World War II Veteran, Charlie left Lumberton High School in the 11th grade (1945) to join the US Navy and serve his country. After his tour of duty as an Aviation Support Equipment Technician stationed at the United States Naval Station in Portland, Maine, Charlie returned to Fayetteville, NC where he worked to obtain his GED. From there he attended and graduated from Western Carolina University where he played baseball, football and basketball. After graduating, Charlie became a Physical Education teacher in several Junior High and High Schools in Fayetteville, most notably Reid Ross and Terry Sanford high schools. He coached hundreds of young Fayetteville athletes in Basketball, Football and Golf, some of which went on to play college sports. Charlie loved North Carolina basketball as evidenced by his wardrobe of NC blue shirts. He was an avid outdoorsman and loved playing golf, hunting and fishing. Charlie was the oldest living member of the Liar’s Club, a loosely formed group of Coaches who meet monthly to eat and share stories in Fayetteville. With that being said it has been told that Charlie coached World Golf Hall of Famer and 1976 Masters Champion Raymond Floyd in golf when Floyd was in High School. He was also a pretty good Ball Room Dancer.
Surviving in addition to his wife of 18 years, Opal, are a son, Charles Thomas Underwood, Jr. of Greenville NC, a granddaughter, Ashley Underwood Wallace and a great granddaughter, Avery Kate Wallace, both of Belvoir, NC and a grandson, William Fripp Underwood of Charleston SC. He is also survived by a Sister in Law, Nan Fripp Steadman and husband Bud of Walterboro, SC. In addition, he is survived by nieces and nephews, William Fripp Steadman and wife Sandra and their children; Paul Steadman and wife Cheryl, all of Charleston, SC; Lynn Kirkland Timmerman and husband Benny, John H. Kirkland, III and wife Bobby; Christopher D Kirkland and wife Joan, all of Greenwood, SC and their children along with numerous great nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, Charlie is predeceased by his first wife, Harriett Fripp Underwood.
Special thanks are extended to caregivers Linda Killian and Laura Killian for their loving support and assistance given to Charlie over the last two years.
A graveside service with military honors will be held for family members, friends and former coaches, students and athletes on Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 11 am at Cross Creek Cemetery, Fayetteville, NC. Rogers and Breece Funeral Service, 500 Ramsey St, Fayetteville, NC 28301 will be handling burial services in Fayetteville, NC. Blyth Funeral Home & Cremation Services assisted the Underwood family in Greenwood.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Cumberland Community Foundation, Inc., PO Box 2345, Fayetteville, NC 28302 or www.cumberlandcf.org as an addition to the Highland Presbyterian Church Endowment or the Opal and Charles Underwood Endowment for Cape Fear Botanical Garden or to the charity of one’s choice.
For online condolences visit www.rogersandbreece.com or www.blythfuneralhome.com.
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