Roland C. Underwood, Jr.
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FLORENCE, Ala. - Roland Clyde Underwood, Jr., retired Tennessee Valley Authority environmental specialist and U.S. Army World War II veteran, passed away in his home on November 19. Underwood was 88.
Born in Lauderdale County on Oct. 28, 1924, Underwood served in the U.S. Army during World War II as a member of the 43rd Infantry (Winged Victory) Division. Underwood served in New Caledonia, New Hebrides and Guadalcanal before joining the 172nd Infantry regiment during the North Solomon campaign.
As a member of the 172nd, Underwood served in New Zealand, New Guinea, Luzon and the Philippine Islands, as well as participated in the occupation of Japan. Underwood received a Purple Heart for wounds received in action during the Luzon campaign.
After an honorable discharge in October 1945, Underwood completed his education at the University of North Alabama, formerly Florence State Teachers College. He spent many years as the manager of Burch Fishing Tackle Co. in Florence before going to work at TVA as an environmental specialist for more than two decades.
Underwood served as a deacon and was an active member of Sherrod Avenue Church of Christ, and he was also a member of the American Legion.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Roland Clyde Underwood, Sr., and Vona Mae Howard Underwood, as well as his first wife, Annie Ruth Farned Underwood.
Underwood is survived by his wife, Hallie Ann Holmes Underwood of Florence, his daughters, Linda Underwood Doss (Charles) of Killen and Debbie Underwood Davis (Richard) of Birmingham, three stepsons, Gilbert Reid Melson II (Sharon) of Florence, Michael Holmes Melson of Linden, Tenn., and Timothy Ivan Melson (Lynn) of Florence, and two stepdaughters, Cynthia Melson Hackworth (Joe) of Florence and Sandra Melson Dingus (Lyle) of Philomont, Va.
He is also survived by his grandchildren, Mae Margaret Davis, Annie Coulter Davis, Hunter Clyde Doss, Hallie Hackworth Broadfoot (Seth), Jessica Dingus Roberts (Matt), Bobbie Hackworth Scanio (Justin), Kathleen Dingus McCune (Jon), Amanda Jean Hackworth, Matthew Tyler Melson (Grace Anne), Gilbert Reid Melson III, Kyle Elliott Melson, Eleanor Hudson Melson, Emma Grace Melson, Alexander Clinton Melson and Logan Andrew Melson, as well as eight great grandchildren.
A visitation will be held at Sherrod Avenue Church of Christ on Wednesday, Nov. 21, at 12:30 p.m., with the funeral immediately to follow at 2 p.m. Burial will follow in Greenview Memorial Park.
Pallbearers will be Hunter Clyde Doss, Matthew Tyler Melson, Gilbert Reid Melson III, Kyle Elliott Melson, Alexander Clinton Melson, Logan Andrew Melson, Mae Margaret Davis and Annie Coulter Davis.
An online guest book may be viewed and signed at www.greenviewmemorial.com.
Arrangements by Greenview Funeral Home.
Published in Florence Times Daily on Nov. 21, 2012