Nolan Underwood, 67

Nolan Underwood, 67, passed this from this earth to Heaven on Friday, September 19, 2003. Mr. Underwood came into this world as the son of Johnny Floyd and Myrtle Coonrod Underwood on the 28th of November, 1935 in Brady, Texas. He spent most of his adolescent years picking cotton, hoeing Johnson grass and chasing sheep. His passion was baseball, at 12 years of age he played center field for a men’s fast pitch softball team’a feat still remembered in the Brady area. At age 15, he was injured in an accident that dramatically changed the direction of his life. As a result of that accident, he lost his sight. The next several years were incredibly challenging for Nolan and his family. Despite this turn of events, Nolan graduated from high school and enrolled at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. It was there that he met his soul mate, Peggy. On Dec. 31, 1958, after a lengthy courtship, the two were married in the Lohn Baptist Church in Lohn. In June of 1959, Nolan, as a blind trainee, embarked on the beginning of a lifelong association with the Texas Lions Camp in Kerrville. It was in this initial visit that he learned the skills and confidence that enabled him to regain his independence. Nolan and Peggy opened a drive-in restaurant in Brady. It was during this time that they had two sons, Lee and Chris. Shortly after the birth of their second son Chris, the family packed up and moved back to San Marcos, where Nolan was awarded his B.A. in sociology in the summer of 1965 from SWTSU. Soon thereafter, Nolan was hired by the Texas Commission for the Blind as a home teacher, and the family moved several more times during his employment with the Commission, during which their daughter, Jamie, was born. Nolan returned to college and received his M.A. in rehabilitation counseling from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Continuing his association with the Texas State Commission for the Blind, he was stationed at the Texas Lions Camp. During this time, his main responsibility was to help blind trainees cope with their blindness through counseling. In 1981, he became a permanent staff member of the camp. It was during this most productive time in his life that he created several new and innovative programs for blind trainees, handicapped children and senior adults. Part of his duties as a public relations representative included promotion of the camp. He and his wife traveled extensively all through the state of Texas for the Lions Camp where they met numerous Lions members, who were to become their life-long friends. It was a rare occasion when he did not receive a standing ovation for his heart-led presentations. He was known for his jovial manner, deep-seeded sincerity and for his everlasting love for the camp. He also spearheaded the development of the Eagle’s Nature Trail by securing the initial monies for its construction. During this time he received several awards for his unfaltering dedication, including a Melvin Jones Fellow, for “dedicated humanitarian services Lions Club International Foundation” and the Jack Wiech Fellow for “Dedicated service to the children of the Texas Lions Camp.” He retired from the Texas Lions Camp in 1998 because of ill health. He acted as a consultant with the city of San Antonio and the Texas State Commission for the blind to create a new and innovative recreational program for the city of San Antonio. From the inception of the program to the ten year span of activities he was deeply interested in the continuing recreational activities for visually handicapped individuals. He freely gave of his time and talents with his insight and experience to those who needed his help, thus The Insight Program of San Antonio. Since his retirement he has been awarded the first ever Lenny Hulsebosch Award from The Texas Council of Treasure Clubs, Inc, “for his strength of character and generous spirit,” he also received a Walter Richter Humanitarian Award from the South West Texas State University Alumni Association “for his support of human welfare and love of fellow man.” Additionally, Nolan was the driving force behind the development of the Alumni Association, an organization devoted to promoting, publicizing and preserving the experiences and integrity of the summer camp programs. When he wasn’t doing anything else, he loved fishing, playing the guitar, a great cheeseburger, reading “Fife Findings” (a history book about Fife, Texas) and watching old westerns. Because of his love of metal detecting, Nolan founded the Kerr Finders Club, an organization of fellow metal detector enthusiasts. It was his participation in this club that gave him the most pleasure during his retirement, and gave him opportunity to increase his ever growing circle of friends. Additionally, he was Director of Low Vision Support Group, a member of the Heart o’ the Hills Lions Club, and a member of the Center Point, Texas Baptist Church. His loving family includes, Peggy Underwood, his wife of almost 45 years; two sons, Lee Underwood and his wife, Lois of Kerrville and Chris Underwood and his wife Jennifer of Sandia; a daughter, Jamie and her husband, Michael Hedrick, recently of Kerrville; his brother, Malcolm Underwood, his wife, Beverly of San Saba, grandchildren include William Underwood, his wife, Becky and their daughters, Bryanna and Bryttanie of North Lauderdale, Fla., Trasey Vest and her husband James and their sons Conner, Calvin and Jimmy of Kerrville, Aaron and Brent Underwood of Sandia, Kristi Underwood of Kerrville, Lauren and Logan Hedrick of Kerrville; nephews include David Underwood and his wife, Lori, and their son, Blaine, Johnny Underwood and his daughters, Tiffany and Shayna Belle and niece Ellis Underwood, all from Brady. In celebration of his life, the family is looking forward to having a White Cane Burning Party to be announced at a later date. Nolan will be greatly missed, but we know where he is’in the loving arms of Almighty God! Peace. Memorial services will be held Wednesday, Sept. 24 at 1 p.m. at the Kerrville Funeral Home Chapel with Chaplain Frankie Enloe officiating. Private family interment will be held at a later date. Visitation will be Tuesday, Sept. 23 from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home. The family invites you to leave a message or memory at www.kerrvillefuneralhome.com by selecting Obituaries. Select “sign guest book” at the bottom of the individual memorial. Arrangements are under the direction of Kerrville Funeral Home, 1221 Junction Highway, Kerrville, Tex. 78028. (830) 895- 5111.

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