Carolyn Christine Gangwish Underwood passed away peacefully on March 4, 2022, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. As her shining light flickered and dimmed, Christine was uplifted by beloved family members at her side, singing the hymns she so treasured.
Christine was born on July 9, 1927, in Hastings, Nebraska. Her parents were Carl C. Gangwish and Carrie Bogseth Gangwish. Christine grew up in rural Nebraska on her family’s farms, first in Juniata, NE and later in Shelton, NE. In 1944, she graduated from Shelton High School, where she thrived academically. Intent on pursuing higher education, Christine took the most advanced math and science courses offered and was co-valedictorian of her class, but still found time to play the alto saxophone in the high school marching band while working arduously on the family farm. Christine matriculated at Ottawa University in the autumn of 1944, where she majored in biology and home economics; she earned a B.A. in 1948. She married George Clyde Underwood in August 1948. Christine’s dedication to education was reflected in multiple years of teaching, both at the elementary and high school levels. She also worked closely with George in their tax consulting business.
Faith, family, and education were the cornerstones of Christine’s life. Sundays were the height of the week for Christine; she participated actively in church services and gatherings throughout her life, loved to sing hymns, and taught Sunday school. Christine enjoyed extended visits with her children and grandchildren, and relished celebrations with family and friends. Christine was curious about the world around her, loved flowers and gardening, was an avid reader, and sought every opportunity to travel, whether to visit her children and grandchildren near and far, or to travel internationally. One highlight of her travels was a visit to her maternal family’s ancestral homelands in Sweden and Norway.
Christine is survived by her five children, Clark, Douglas, Carol (Habib Hastaie), Bruce (Janet Birnbaum), and Jean (Thomas Sherrell) as well as her seven grandchildren: Benjamin Underwood, Andrew Underwood, Linde Blocher (Ryan), Eli Underwood, Sarah Sherrell, Matthew Sherrell, and David Underwood Sherrell. Christine’s sister, Loree Gangwish Elliott, and brother Carl Gangwish, Jr., sisters-in-law Treva Gangwish and Louise Gangwish, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews survive her.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Leland, Wendel, and Dwight, and by her beloved husband, George Clyde Underwood.
The family would like to thank the staff at Cottage Grove Place in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, for their compassionate and professional care of Christine. Memorial contributions may be made to Ottawa University, 1001 S. Cedar St., Ottawa, KS 66067.
A celebration of Christine’s life will be April 9, 2022. Memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM at the First Baptist Church, Ottawa, Kansas followed by interment at 12:15 PM at Highland Cemetery, and 1:30 PM luncheon at the Gangwish Library and Gibson Student Center, Ottawa University, Ottawa, Kansas.
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