James Edward Underwood, born June 4, 1944, passed away on September 29, 2020.

“And I heard a voice from Heaven saying unto me, “Write. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth:” “Yea”, saith the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labours; for their works do follow them.” Revelation 14:13

The Life and Legacy of Brother James Edward Underwood:

The seventh child of 12 children born to Otis (Sr.) and Lucile (Zachary) Underwood, Brother James Underwood was born June 4, 1944 in Barfield, Alabama. During his early childhood, the family moved to Lakeland, FL., where he attended Rochelle Elementary and Junior-Senior High Schools. He was a member of the Class of 1964.

Understanding the need to extend help to the youth of his community, James served as a volunteer Coach to the track team of Rochelle Junior-Senior High School as a young adult, assisting Coach U. J. Johnson.

As a converted Christian, Brother Underwood connected with and served in various capacities at Harmony Missionary Baptist Church, starting early in the 1980s. His commitment to his church was evident in his roles as Trustee, member of the Finance Committee, Coach of the church baseball team, songster in the Men’s Chorus and his provision of lawn and custodial services.

A man of many passions, “Pop,” as he was affectionately called, kept busy through his work, community affiliations and activities of enjoyment. Retiring from Agrico/IMC/Mosaic Mines as a Shift Manager after 33 years of service and Lead Domestic Engineer at Polk County Public School after nine additional years, provided him with the means to extend community support. The Lakeland Community benefited from his work in the Imperial Lakeland Optimist Club and Masonic Lodge #52. He shared with others through his love of fishing, socializing with his large family and numerous friends, grilling his famous chicken and ribs and attending various sports events. One of his greatest loves was performing odd jobs for others, especially the elderly. His outgoing personality, hearty laugh and trait of trustworthiness endeared him to many.

Cherishing warm and loving memories and continuing his legacy are his devoted wife of 54 years, Vivian; daughter, Monica Underwood; granddaughter, Monae Driver; grandson, Lance Harvey; and great-granddaughter, Jazmine Harvey. Siblings who shared childhood memories and enjoyed his protective care are Lora (Jimmie) Borders; Shirley Smith and Trudy (John) Hayes. In-laws who shared the joys of good times, love and laughter are Larry (Yolanda) Brown; Orpah (Tony) Hall; Nehemiah (Gina) Brown and Naomi Brown. Many more nieces, nephews, cousins and numerous friends will remember the love and laughter he shared.
Loved ones who preceded him in this departure were both of his parents and siblings Lola Mae Williams; Wyvonia Johnson; Essie Mae McGowan; Otis Underwood, Jr.; Lucille Johnson; Willie Underwood, Dorothy Allen and Albert Underwood.

“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Psalms 116:15

Condolences may be sent to the family at Oldham Funeral Home.

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