JOHN MAXWELL’S definition of Success is, "When you're loved and respected the most by the people who know you the best." That quote epitomizes my Dad, who left this planet just a few days after his 93rd birthday.
HE WAS much-loved by many. The staff at the memory care facility where he spent the last few years (He had dementia) called him "Papa Bear". He was sweet and jolly, even as he endured the trials of this debilitating disease. You could always count on that trademark smile and deep belly laugh, often laughing at himself.
MY DAD didn't take himself too seriously, but he would stick up for anyone who needed defending. Once he was a passenger on a commercial flight that caught fire in mid-air. The pilot got the plane safely landed…and Dad was the last non-crew member off the plane. He helped everyone else off before he slid down the emergency chute. Typical.
DURING HIS CAREER as an engineer, Dad worked on many top-secret projects, some of which have recently been declassified after fifty years. He had a hand in some components of the U-2 spy planes of the sixties. He worked with NASA on the Polaris missile. For his five kids, however, he was the Dad who took us camping and gave us a love for the outdoors and for adventure. He also modeled what it meant to be a husband (over 60 years until my Mom’s death) and father.
SUFFICE IT TO SAY that Paul Underhill was a great Husband, Dad, Grandpa, Great-Grandpa and a friend to many.