David L. Underwood was born near Ava, Illinois, and moved to St. Louis in 1926. He attended elementary and high schools in St. Louis and Desloge, Missouri. Underwood served in the U.S. Navy during World War II (amphibious craft duty) and the Korean War (on the aircraft carrier USS Bon Homme Richard) and was a radio operator (RMIC).
Following military service, Underwood enrolled at Central Missouri State College where he earned A.B. and B.S. degrees. He earned a master’s degree in English from the University of Missouri in 1951. After graduation, he worked briefly at IBM Corporation. Underwood taught English in the Saint Louis Public Schools at McKinley and Beaumont High Schools until he was transferred to Southwest High School as head of the English Department. In 1962, he became English department chairman at Beaumont High School.
After teaching for the Junior College District on a part-time basis, Underwood joined the FlorissantValley faculty in 1963 as an Associate Professor of English. He served as chairman of the Communications-Humanities division and later associate Dean of Instruction. He was appointed Dean of Instruction July 1, 1967, and served until his death in 1975.
For three years, Underwood did a daily telecast for KETC-TV on "Advanced Composition and Literature." He also did a weekly program for KMOX-TV on "How to Write" and "Understanding Literature."
On his early-1970s resume, Underwood listed his hobbies as reading, photography and farming.
“A New Direction for Television in Education,” Science Education, December, 1967, Volume 51, Number 5. With Bill G. Aldridge.
“Bird Watching in Johnson County, Missouri,“ in The Bluebird (Missouri state ornithological bulletin), 1947.
“College Organization and Administration: Some Faculty Views of Administration,” in Selected papers, 47th Annual Convention of American Association of Junior Colleges, 1967.
“Creativity in Instruction at Florissant Valley Community College,” in Audio Visual Instruction, September 1967, Volume 12, Number 7.
“How Teachers Can Use Television to Improve Instruction,” in Improvement of Teaching by Television, University of Missouri Press, 1964.
“Innovative Programs at Florissant Valley Community College,” in Humanizing Education in the Junior College, Proceedings of Inter-regional Conference, AAJC, September, 1970.
“New Movement Underway?” n.p.: American Vocational Journal, 1973. With James P. O’Grady, Jr.
Unpublished M.A. Thesis: “Picaresque Elements in the Novels of Charles Dickens.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 18 March 1975
UNDERWOOD, DAVID L., Sun., March 16, 1975, beloved husband of Annabelle Finnegan Underwood, dear father of Daniel and Kathleen (sic) Underwood, dear brother of Esther Hanke and Carl Underwood, our dear son-in-law, brother-in-law, uncle, nephew and cousin.
Funeral from WHITE-MULLEN Mortuary, 118 N. Florissant Rd., Ferguson, Thurs., March 20, 9:30 a.m. to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. Interment National Cemetery, Jefferson Barracks. Mr. Underwood was Dean of Instructions [sic] of Florissant Valley Community College. Donations to David Underwood Scholarship Fund appreciated. Visitation after 7 p.m. Tues.
David L. Underwood
RMN1 US Navy
World War II
Born Dec 26, 1925
Died March 16, 1975
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery
2900 Sheridan Road
Saint Louis, Missouri
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