Obituary of Mary Alice Underwood
Adrian - Mary Alice Underwood née Pelham, 96, of Adrian, died peacefully on April 25, 2021. Mary was known affectionately by many names: Susie, Mom, Grunt, and Grammy, but foremost she was the core of the Underwood family.
Mary was born on April 14, 1925 to the late Ralph C. Pelham and Irene Pelham in Jackson. She was a proud graduate of Clayton High School, and despite the limited opportunities for women of that era to pursue higher education, she attended business classes in Jackson with determination.
She married Edward J. Underwood on June 17, 1950 at Sacred Heart Church in Hudson, and they enjoyed 66 devoted years of marriage. With a vision, together Mary and Ed began to establish their own small business, selling fresh strawberries and plants. The roots of it all began to grow in 1951 with the two Underwoods working side by side as true partners in life and in business. The couple continued to grow their business while they grew their family, and they were blessed with four children: the late Mary Lou, Sally, E.J., and Mark.
For her commitment to professional development and growth of the landscaping industry, as well as her dedication, Mary was honored with a membership to the Half-Century Club of the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association. The Underwood home was always full of light and open to friends and family—you could count on Mary to lend you her ear and to feed you some of her tasty popcorn balls, homemade pickles, and her delicious strawberry pie.
Mary's elegant handwriting is most recognizable from the notes she'd leave behind if she was running errands, so everyone would know where to find her. She also liked to mail handwritten letters and greeting cards for every holiday. Mary was skilled at professional shorthand, and an excellent typist who was always willing to help with homework.
A devout Catholic, Mary belonged to St. Joseph Church for many years before the Underwoods joined St. Mary’s Church, and eventually Ed and Mary joined St. Elizabeth Church. Singing with the church choir was one of the great joys of Mary's life.
Mary was a selfless person who was fiercely devoted to faith and family. She had a kindhearted soul and loved sharing stories and laughter. She enjoyed traveling with the love of her life, Ed, in their motorhome as they followed their racehorses to county fairs throughout the state. She loved sunshine, a hot cup of coffee, crossword puzzles, telling jokes, and nobody dared touch the TV while the Detroit Pistons were on. Mary left her family a beautiful legacy of love.
Mary Alice Underwood is survived by her brother Ray Pelham of Adrian, her children Sally (Rick D. Raeff) Underwood of Manitou Beach; E.J. Underwood of Adrian; Mark (Sarah) Underwood of Adrian, her grandchildren Jacob (Kayla) Underwood and their children Scarlet, Crew, and Hayes of Green Bay, WI; Kyle (Nicole) Underwood and their children Edward, Harvey, and Cecilia of Adrian; and Alina Dolce Underwood of San Francisco, CA. She was preceded in death by her husband Edward J. Underwood, daughter Mary Lou Underwood, her siblings: Anna May “Annie” Beaubien, Ralph “Mike” Pelham, Calla Jean “Coddie” Patton, and Leo Pelham.
Visitation for Mary will be held on Thursday, May 6, 2021, from 4 – 7 p.m. with a Vigil Prayer Service beginning at 7 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Tecumseh. The funeral liturgy will be held on Friday, May 7, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. with visitation beginning one hour prior to the service at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Tecumseh with Fr. Dan Wheeler presiding. Burial will be held in Brookside Cemetery.
You may send condolences to the family at www.andersonfuneralservices.com. Memorial Contributions may be given to the Lenawee Community Foundation. Arrangements have been entrusted to Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.
Vigil Prayer Service
Adrian Chapel - 3050 W. Beecher Rd. Adrian, Michigan 49221 517-265-3312
Tecumseh Chapel - 1448 Short St. Tecumseh, Michigan 49286 517-424-1848
Blissfield Chapel - 9205 E. U.S. Hwy. 223 Blissfield, Michigan 49228 517-486-4400
Hudson Chapel - 415 W. Main St. Hudson, Michigan 49247 517-448-3481
Morenci Chapel - 303 N. Summit St. Morenci, Michigan 49256 517-458-2311
Fayette Chapel - 412 W. Main St. Fayette, Ohio 43521 419-237-2564