Douglas Lee Underwood

Douglas Lee Underwood
Douglas (“Doug”) Lee Underwood, age 63, passed away on August 29, 2013, at his home in Newport Beach from congestive heart failure.
Doug was born on November 13, 1949, in Los Angeles, to Richard (“Dick”) Underwood and Tulajane (“Tula”) Darby Underwood. Doug and his older sister Dale were raised in Newport Beach and enjoyed a happy childhood. In his youth, Doug and his father shared many hobbies together: go-karting, sailing, and freshwater and ocean fishing. As a young man, Doug enjoyed riding motorcycles, surfing, and driving his beloved red Porsche. Doug did well in academics and excelled in sports. He was a standout basketball player at Newport Harbor High School and was well-liked by classmates.
Doug attended San Diego State University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Upon completing his teaching credential, Doug returned to Orange County and began work on the true passion of his life, teaching. Doug began his career at Lincoln Elementary School in Santa Ana, and taught there for 35 years until his recent retirement. He taught in the classroom for 25 years, during which he obtained his Master of Education degree from California State University, Fullerton. For the remaining 10 years he served in a number of capacities: school administrator, technology coordinator, and literacy coach--leading a campus-wide adoption of computerized math instruction developed by UC Irvine’s M.I.N.D. Research Institute.
In 1977, Doug married Jeanette (“Jeanie”) Grevenkamp Underwood, and together they raised two boys, Mark (b. 1983) and Ryan (b. 1985) in Costa Mesa. Mark and Ryan were the joys of Doug’s life; he imparted to both his love of teaching and of learning, encouraging them to never stop asking questions--and at times, to “be teachable”. Doug was an active participant in his sons’ education and sports, watching (and often coaching) the boys’ soccer and roller-hockey teams. While Jeanie and Doug were no longer married at his passing, they continued to be friends and co-parents.
After being diagnosed with a severe heart condition, Doug was unable to be as active as in his youth--but he continued to find joy in devoting time to his family, as well as playing and watching golf. In his final years, his hobbies were coin-collecting, reading, and going to the movies.
Doug was a born-again Christian who continued to find strength in the Lord during the many years battling his heart condition. Those who knew him remember a sensitive, authentic man marked by kindness and compassion.
Doug is survived by his former wife and mother of his children, Jeanie Underwood of Newport Beach; his elder son Mark Underwood of Costa Mesa; his younger son Ryan Underwood and wife Melanie of San Diego; his mother Tula Underwood of Irvine; his father Dick Underwood of Palm Desert; his sister Dale Bremner and husband Ted of Irvine; his nephews Tad Bremner and Adam Bremner of Newport Beach.
A public memorial service celebrating Doug’s life will be held at the Harborside Grand Ballroom at the Balboa Pavilion, 400 Main St. Newport Beach, on Friday, October 11, 2013, from 4-6PM. His ashes will be scattered at sea outside Newport Harbor in a separate, private gathering. In lieu of flowers, donations can be directed to the Santa Ana Public Schools Foundation (

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