William “Bill” Underwood Jr.
Bill Underwood, 89, died peacefully in his sleep at home in Long Beach, CA on May 5, 2016. He will be dearly missed by his friends and family. He was a proud father, grandfather, and uncle. He enjoyed world travel and a rousing political conversation.
Born in Manhattan Beach, CA to English immigrants William and Lilly Underwood, he is also preceded in death by two sisters, Eva Dennison and Peggy Allen. He moved with his family to Toronto at a very young age. During high school, he worked in a shipyard, and enlisted in the US Navy at 17 which sent him to New York and San Diego for training. He was stationed in the Aleutian Islands where he served as an electrician’s mate from 1945 through 1947. After his Navy Service, Bill got his degree from UCLA and was married in 1950 to Corinne (Berg) Underwood until their divorce in 1999. Bill moved his family to Santa Barbara in 1967 where he founded Gyrex Corporation. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to purchase Techcon Systems in Carson, California which he operated until the mid ‘90’s.
Bill was very active in sailboat racing and was a former commodore of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club. He and his family were regulars at Cherry Cove on Catalina Island, home away from home, where he continued to visit even in his later years.
He found joy in Zihuatanejo, Mexico where he lived during the winter months and honed his sport fishing and margarita making skills. He had many friends there and was a strong supporter of the Netza School for indigenous children.
Bill is survived by his son, Jack Underwood (Janet) of Los Altos, CA and daughter, Chris Hurwitz (Ken) of Mill Valley, CA as well as four grandchildren, Miles Hurwitz, Dayna Underwood, Paige Hurwitz, and Russel Underwood. He was cared for tenderly and lovingly by his friend, Lauren Jemila, in the last years of his life.
A celebration of his life will be held by his family at a later date in Long Beach and in Zihuatanejo.