Richard "Dick" Underwood was chief engineer on the production of the first topographic maps of the moon. He was the first person to view every photograph from the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz and the first 23 space shuttle missions. He also provided technical training to every astronaut who went into space in the twentieth century.
Credit: Heritage Auction Galleries
[b]Above:[/b] [i]An example of the mementos Richard Underwood prepared from scrap pieces of flown film.[/i]
Richard Weeden Underwood was born in Newport, RI on July 15, 1927 to the late John Burns Underwood and Mary Josephine Del Nero Underwood. He was a thirteenth generation Rhode Islander. As a child, he lived in Newport, Block Island RI, Nantucket MA, Albany NY and New Haven CT.
On his 17th birthday he was called to active duty in the U.S. Navy and served in the Pacific during World War II. He obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Connecticut, and went on to further studies at University of Wyoming, Colorado School of Mines and George Washington University.
Underwood was commissioned a Naval Officer in 1950. He went to work for Army Map Service and traveled worldwide while obtaining photography used in both mapping and national security.
During his NASA career he presented 1506 lectures to audiences all over the world. He loved to travel and visited every county in the U.S.
After retiring from NASA in January 1986, he became a guest lecturer on luxury cruise liners. During the course of 152 cruises he visited 129 countries and 306 ports of call on all seven continents on the cruises while presenting the wonderful space photographs. He retired in 2008.
Credit: NASA/Apollo Moon Missions (Watkins)
Dick married Rosa Bustamante of Juticalpa, Honduras on April 6, 1956. Their five children are Mary Elizabeth Arrington (husband Alan) of Conroe, TX; John Anthony Underwood of New York City, NY; Jacqueline Ann Carl (husband Robert) of Austin, TX; Robert Paul Underwood (wife Lisa) of La Porte, TX; and Roxanne Marie Hendricks (husband Bill) of San Diego. Their grandchildren are Danielle Lynne Underwood and Victoria Grace Underwood of La Porte, TX.
Funeral arrangements are as follows: Visitation at Crowder Funeral Home, Clear Lake on Monday, April 25, 2011 from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm with a Vigil and Rosary at 7:00 pm. Funeral Mass at St. Paul's The Apostle Catholic Church 18223 Point Lookout Drive, Nassau Bay, TX 77058 on Tuesday, April 26th at 10:00am followed by the Burial at Houston National Veteran's Cemetery on at 2:30pm.