Linda Harrison |
a native of Houston, passed away at age 72 on May 1, 2013. She was born July 31, 1940 to Hallie and Charles Howard Underwood, who preceded her in death. Her brother, Charles Howard Underwood Jr., also preceded her in death. She is survived by her nieces Sloane Jeffries Underwood, Chase Underwood May and great nieces/nephews Stockton May, Delaney May and Sailor May.
Linda Underwood was a proud Texan who graduated from the University of Houston after studying at Baylor and Texas Tech Universities. She began her career in Texas politics in 1964 as assistant to former Ambassador Albert Fay who was then a senior Republican leader. By 1967 she had moved to Washington D.C. to pursue a lifelong interest in identifying highly capable people to serve in government. She became a key member of the Nixon Transition Team in 1968, and after the election became a senior aide to Harry S. Fleming who was head of White House Personnel and Appointments. She later served as Executive Assistant to Hon. J. William Middendorf II, U.S. Ambassador to The Netherlands in The Hague. In late 1970 she brought her national expertise home to Texas when asked by the White House to help coordinate the Texas presidential campaign effort in Austin. In 1972 she served as Assistant to the Chairman of the Republican National Convention. In 1978 she was appointed Director of Texas Region I (20 counties, including Harris County) for the campaign of Bill Clements who was elected the first Republican Governor of Texas in 100 years. From 1978 to 1981 she served as the Governor's Director of Personnel and Appointments and is credited with creating a new standard of professionalism in the political appointments process.
Besides these political efforts, she launched a commercial and residential real estate career, first as part of the launch of Northwest Crossing, a 100-acre multi-use project and later she established her own interior design firm. From 1983 to 1989 she created and ran The Linwood Collection of fine jewelry.
Linda loved animals, particularly her beloved dog, "Honey". Her friends remember her as a loyal friend who always worked hard but was also the "life of the party."
A Memorial Service is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7 at St. Paul's United Methodist Church, 5501 Main St., Houston, Texas, with Dr. James Bankston and Rev. Terry Thompson officiating. After the service, a reception will follow at the home of Charles and Suzanne McCord.
In lieu of flowers, suggested memorials are to the above St. Paul's United Methodist Church or to the Houston SPCA, 900 Portway Dr., Houston, Texas, 77024.
Published in Houston Chronicle on May 5, 2013