Richard Dennis Underwood (July 8, 1943-January 28, 2023)
Early Saturday morning, January 28, 2023, Richard Dennis Underwood passed away at home with his family after a 20 year battle with multiple myeloma. Richard, known as Dick to his family and friends, is remembered as a wonderful father, tenderhearted husband, and dedicated doctor.
Dick was born July 8, 1943 in Los Angeles, the oldest of 3 children, to Laurence and Ella Underwood. He attended Hoover High School in Glendale where he met his forever sweetheart, Norma Jean Erlandson. The two were married on July 17, 1965 and raised 3 children, Amy, Jeff and Lyndsey, in Mission Viejo and San Juan Capistrano. His love for the beach later prompted him to finally settle in San Clemente.
Dick graduated from UCLA with a major in psychology and received his medical degree from USC in 1969. He then followed in his father’s footsteps, completing his dermatology residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He established a successful dermatology practice in Mission Viejo where he was held in highest esteem by his colleagues and the many patients whose lives he touched over 33 years. His daughter, Amy, who is also a physician still has patients express their fond memories of him.
He lived life to the fullest when away from the office. A true adventurer, Dick loved skiing in Mammoth, water skiing on Lake Mead, surfing at Cotton’s Point, and motorcycle riding in the desert. He was a skilled scuba diver and enjoyed windsurfing in his younger years. He even parachuted out of an airplane later in life (secretly because he knew his family would object). When the children were growing up, he took them camping throughout California as well as Baja California and in retirement, he and Norma traveled and explored many exotic places around the world.
Dick was a true gentleman, a compassionate doctor and possessed genuine kindness. He did everything with honesty and integrity. He was an amazing husband, father and grandfather, and his love will be forever in our hearts. He is survived by his wife, Norma; children, Amy (Jason) Jolly, Jeff, and Lyndsey (Mike) DeSimone; grandchildren, Hannah and Ethan Jolly, Sage and Finley DeSimone and brother, Ron Underwood. He is preceded in death by his sister, Laurel Wiley and parents, Laurence and Ella Underwood.
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