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Gene Underwood

• Funeral services for Gene Underwood will be 2 p.m., Thursday, March 9, 2023, at Sandy Baptist Church, in Sulphur, Okla. Rev. Steve Wall will officiate. Interment will follow in Oaklawn Cemetery in Sulphur. The family will receive friends at Hale’s Funeral Home, Sulphur, on Wednesday evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Mr. Underwood was born April 5, 1934, near Tishomingo, Okla., to Joe and Mary Jane (Hamilton) Underwood. He passed from this life Friday, March 3, 2023, in Ada, Okla., at the age of 88 years, 10 months and 28 days. Mr. Underwood and Juanita (Brown) were married Nov. 22, 1961, in San Francisco, Calif. From this union were born three children, Dennis, Janay and Joanna.
Mr. Underwood grew up in the Russett, Okla., area. He graduated from Russett High School in 1956. He graduated from Haskell Institute (now Haskell Indian Nations University) in Lawrence, Kan., in 1960.
Following his graduation from Haskell, Mr. Underwood moved to San Francisco, where he would soon reconnect with and marry Juanita. The couple had met in their younger years while growing up and attending church events together. In 1967, Mr. Underwood and his family left California and moved back home to Oklahoma. He spent several years working as a mechanic in Ardmore, Okla. He later took a job at the Oklahoma School for the Deaf in Sulphur. He remained at the school until his retirement in 1997, following 24 years of service.
Mr. Underwood was a proud citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. For many years, he was very active in tribal government. He served three terms as a member of the Chickasaw legislature, from 1983 through 1992. He also served on the Chickasaw Nation Wildlife Commission.
In 2008, Mr. Underwood was inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame. In 2021, he received the prestigious Silver Feather Award. Silver Feather recipients are Chickasaw treasures, held in the highest regard by the Chickasaw Nation for preservation and revitalization of Chickasaw culture, language and traditions.
Mr. Underwood was a member of Sandy Baptist Church, in Sulphur.
Survivors include his wife, Juanita; a son, Dennis Underwood; two daughters, Janay Underwood and Joanna (Underwood) Blackburn and husband James; two grandchildren, Taloa Underwood and fiancé Jesse Allbritten, and Chestine Underwood; a great-granddaughter, Nanaiya Allbritten; two brothers, Ted Underwood, and Chet Underwood; a sister, Delores Monetathchi; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Mr. Underwood was preceded in death by a grandson, Isaac Underwood; and three siblings, Andrew Underwood, Geraldine Underwood, and Era Mae Carney.
Services are entrusted to Hale’s Funeral Home of Sulphur.
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