Junior Wayne Underwood

We'd all love to have a neighbor like Junior Wayne Underwood.  Junior was born in Eureka, Utah November 1, 1926.  When he was three years old his family moved to Salem where he has lived ever since.  His father was a carpenter and shoemaker and built the family home.  Junior was third to the youngest of nine children.

Junior had three children by his first wife: Kay Marie, Eddie, and Peggy.  He met the love of his life, Joyce Christensen, at a western dance.  They were married July 27, 1957.  She had three chilren: Steven, who is deceased, Randy, and Michael.  Together they had Melinda.  Joyce passed away 17 years ago on September 3rd, which was Melinda's birthday.  When asked how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren he has, he said he needed to add them up but he has some great-great grandchildren.  What a posterity!

Five days after his 18th birthday, he was drafted into the Army 65th Engineer Combat Battalion during WWII.  A few months ago, the American Legion presented him with an Asiatic Pacific Medallion inscribed with: "WWII Valor in the Pacific -- Our Grateful Islands Remember 1941-1945".  He was given a certificate on behalf of the 60th Commemoration Committee and VGW Post 3457, Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, WWII.  It read: "It is a great honor to present you our WWII Medallon."

Junior had to quit school during his senior year and worked construction because his family was so poor.  After returning from the war, he attended school and tool welding and auto mechanics.  He was hired on at the Trojan Powder Plant in October 1947 and worked there until 1989.  While the plant was shut down for a year he went to work for Salem City helping to build and run the Sewer Treatment Plant.  He then returned to the Powder Plant.

Junior also served as a member of Salem City's first Volunteer Fire Department.  In 2009 he was presented the Palmyra District Good Turn Award"  -- "in appreciation for his outstanding service to youth."  He is always serving his neighbors and is a great example to the youth.  He has done welding projects for neighbors and made several clothes line poles.  For 25 years he has helped remove snow for at least ten neighbors, first with a home-made snow pusher, then two snow blowers, and now an ATV with a snow blade.

He loves chocolate and lemon meringue pies.  He doesn't like onions.  He loves hunting and fishing, especially with his son Steven when he as alive.  He built his first home in Salem and totally remodeled the home in lives in now. 

Junior appreciates the quiet life in Salem.  He loved swimming in Salem Pond and rafting as a kid and was even baptized a member ot The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the pond.  He appreciates all the people that he knows and their friendship.  He said we have a good Mayor and Council, and he loves his ward and bishopric.


From "Senior Spotlight", Salem City Newsletter, October 2013 -  P 3.


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