GLENN JESSIE UNDERWOOD
Glenn Jessie Underwood, 99, Ottawa, Kan., died Oct. 14, 2013, at Ottawa Retirement Village, surrounded by friends and family members.
Funeral services are planned for 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, at the First United Methodist Church, 203 E. Fourth St., Ottawa. Visitation for friends and family is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, at the church. Interment is to follow at Highland Cemetery, Ottawa.
Glenn was born Sept. 28, 1914, in Pittsburg, Kan. He was the oldest of three sons born to Harve and Bessie Underwood.
Glenn’s mother died Jan. 20, 1921, as a complication of child birth, leaving Glenn, 6, Charles, 3, and “Hunk,” two weeks.
Later that year, Harve moved him and his sons to Lomax, a train depot close to Quenemo, where Harve’s parents ran a restaurant at the train stop. During the frontier years, the little family moved from Lomax to a new house Harve and other family members built for them on Underwood Street in Ottawa. Later, during the worst of the Depression, they moved to a farm southwest of Baldwin City, and finally to a farm southwest of Pomona. During those years, Glenn was the cook, with pancakes being his specialty.
Glenn graduated from Pomona High School in 1933 after riding a horse to school five miles each way on most days. That year, the county had a terrible drought. It didn’t rain, leaving no feed for the livestock, and no money to buy feed. Glenn’s dad was forced to sell the livestock except for horses. They moved to northeast Williamsburg.
After high school, Glenn started stripping coal (a brief career). He also worked for Dan Fogle, building portable rock crushers.
In 1936, at the age of 22, Glenn started his business career, running a service station in Williamsburg, Kan. With $12, he assumed an existing loan for $350 for equipment and then borrowed money from his dad for his first load of gas.
Glenn married Hazel Dora Everman June 30, 1937. They lived for a year in a converted apartment in the back of the service station. In the winter, it was so cold; snow leaking from the tin roof froze on the floor. It was 1937 when the couple bought their first house, a former doctor’s home in Williamsburg. It was the nicest place either of them had ever lived, Glenn said.
In 1942, Glenn took over the Sinclair Station at Second and Hickory streets in Ottawa; it became Glenn’s Super Service.
On Nov. 24, 1943, son Gary Lee Underwood was born.
Glenn built the first drive-in theater in Franklin County and it opened for business Aug. 28, 1949.
On Aug. 12, 1950, son Douglas Keith Underwood was born.
Glenn made a three-way trade Dec. 15, 1954; selling the drive-in to Mrs. Stucker for the John Deere Dealership. And she sold the drive-in to Mr. Bill Bankroft. Glenn remarked, “She saved taxes and so did I.” Thus began a multi-decade career as a farm equipment dealer in Franklin County. In 1969, his company also became a GMC truck dealership.
In 1971, Hazel Underwood died of cancer.
Glenn married Viola Virginia Gossett Dec. 23, 1978. She preceded him in death in 2004. Also preceding him in death were his brothers, Charles and Morris.
Survivors include his sons, Gary and wife, Chris, Baldwin City, and Doug and wife, Marty, Lake Ozark, Mo.; step-son, Bill Gossett and wife- Nancy, Aiken, S.C.; six grandchildren, Barb Wells, Lawrence, Kristin Allan, Ottawa, Kyle Underwood, Denver, Colo., Jane Dubbs, Lake Ozark, Mo., Tami Erikson, King George, Va., and Melissa Rimando, Washington, D.C.; nine great-grandchildren, Jackson Allan, Adrienne and Robert Dubbs, Vaughn and Keira Wells, Andy and Greg Erikson, and Ryan and Craig Rimando.
The family suggests memorial contributions to First United Methodist Church or Prairie Paws through Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory St., Ottawa KS 66067.
An online guest book is available at www.dengelmortuary.com