William Underwood

October 30, 2018
William Underwood

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William C. Underwood passed away on Tuesday, October 30th, 2018.
Born in Hopewell, VA on January 15th, 1929, Bill was a graduate of Suffolk High School and The College of William & Mary. He was a teacher and administrator in the Newport News school system before serving as principal of Berkeley Middle School in Williamsburg and teaching history at Lafayette High School. A lifelong educator, he volunteered at several museums in his retirement, most notably the Wright Brothers Nat’l Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, NC.
He was married to Matilda Barlowe Underwood for 57 years until she passed away on November 5th, 2007; they shared a passion for music, travelling and family.
He will be greatly missed. A beloved father and grandfather, he is survived by his son Jack, his grandson Devon, his granddaughter Sophia, and Jack’s partner Danielle. The fifth of six siblings, he had four older sisters and is survived by his brother Thomas and numerous nieces and nephews.
Talented, intelligent, open-minded, charismatic and optimistic, the world is a better place for having known him.
A Memorial Reception will be held in his honor at Bucktrout Funeral Home on Saturday, November 10th, 2018 at 12:00pm.

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  • November 06, 2018
    Eleanor Williams Hahne says:
    I am saddened to hear this news. Billy always had a smile on his face and a joke to tell. I will miss his drawings of Santa at Christmas. He was a joy to be around

  • November 08, 2018
    Claudia Melgaard says:
    I was exceptionally lucky to be born into an extended family that included Bill Underwood. From standing in the front row of his and Tillie's wedding at age five, to my last visit at 73, Uncle Billy was the best. I owe many of my best experiences growing up and as an adult to him and Tillie. He taught me so much in my struggles to play music and never seemed to mind. He always had stories to tell of places he went and facts he gathered. He was a true gentleman who made the world a better place. What more can one ask. I will truly miss him but my memories will remain.

  • November 10, 2018
    Jane Mary Gay says:
    For three years, I was one of the teachers privileged to have Bill as my principal at Berkeley Elementary (grades 4,5,6). Without a doubt, he was the most compassionate principal I ever worked for. He simply loved teaching and sometimes found the administrative duties underwhelming! I stopped by his office one afternoon to find him doing paper-work; he glanced at me and in undisguised frustration, lamented, "Mrs. Gay, I earned a master's degree so I could count how many rolls of paper towels to order for the bathrooms!" He was a most caring and loving principal; he loved his students and they returned his love. He was a Treasure!

  • November 12, 2018
    Anthony Frazier says:
    Mr. Underwood was my principal and a great one. Jack and I were in school together and I want you all to know that my prayers are with your family. We list a great man!

  • November 12, 2018
    Elinor Antis says:
    Visiting in Williamsburg on the Palace Green