Funeral services were held Wednesday for David Underwood. He passed away this weekend after a lengthy illness.
Many in Lubbock will remember him from the Lion's Club, the Boy Scouts, or his position at Channel 13. But far beyond Lubbock, many will remember a story about him that was published in Guidepost magazine.
At one time, David Underwood was General Manager of the CBS affiliate in Lubbock. Dave was so well respected, that I remember even here at a competing station, we made the trip to KLBK to profile him in a special segment called "One Who Makes A Difference."
Even back then, Dave gave all the credit to his wife, Renee. In our story about him in the mid 1980's, he said "My wife, Renee, has really been an inspiration for me." That was nearly 30 years ago. Since then, Renee has been an inspiration to many. As David developed Huntington's, a neurological disease, Renee was by his side, educating others about misconceptions: explaining that David's unsteady walk and slurred speech were part of that loss of control that comes with Huntington's disease.
David will be remembered as a proud father, an active volunteer in the community, and at age 28, the youngest General Manager of a CBS affiliate in the country. But it is Renee who has made their story timeless. Published in Guidepost Magazine in the January 2009 issue, her story shared what it means "in sickness and in health" when you say "I do".
That's a legacy she and Dave leave for their two boys…. and the millions who read Guidepost.
When I interviewed David and Renee in 2005, his disease was beginning to take its toll. He was living in a nursing home but Renee was there to see him every day...and walk with him on the grounds.
With an arm around David, she told me, "You take the vows and you think you know what they mean - 'in sickness and in health, for better or for worse'. Those are huge vows."
Then she said, "I told my boys I don't care what you learn from me as long as you learn one thing… that you honor your commitments."
We can all learn from that.
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