Music 32

Shirley Rae (Miller) Underwood

May 17, 1936 ~ December 15, 2020 (age 84)


It is with great sadness that the family of Shirley Rae Underwood announce her passing at the age of 84 due to complications of COVID-19 and heart failure.

She was a beloved, mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, mother-in-law, and dear friend to many. Shirley was born in Iroquois, South Dakota on May 17, 1936. She spent her younger years on the family farm before moving to Huron, SD. She married Jim (James) Underwood on January 27, 1957. They moved to Combined Locks in 1960, were Shirley lived until to her passing.

Shirley was a wonderful piano player and a passionate music lover. As one of her proudest accomplishments, Shirley had the opportunity to play piano for President Harry S. Truman while attending Huron College. After moving to Combined Locks, she was a homemaker and a piano teacher to many students over the years. As a pianist, she also enjoyed entertaining customers at Jacks or Better in Little Chute and George’s Steak House in Appleton. After the death of her husband, Jim, in 1976, she began working at AAL/Thrivent while raising her three teenage children.

After retirement, Shirley enjoyed traveling to Jamaica and Spain. In her free time, she bowled and could be found on the golf course. For over 50 years, she played Sheephead with her card club. She was an avid sports fan and loved to root for the Green Bay Packers and the Milwaukee Bucks Shirley’s favorite day was Christmas Eve. A family tradition was for Shirley and her daughter, Cheryl, to Christmas carols on the piano. She will most be remembered for her wonderful sense of humor. In fact, one of her favorite things was trading gag gifts with her son-in-law Tim.

Shirley is survived by her son Greg (Lisa) Underwood; daughter Cheryl Dotterweich (special friend Dennis Blair); and daughter Lisa (Tim) Converse all from Combined Locks; grandchildren James Converse, Ryan Converse (special friend Rachel Shanahan), Erin Underwood, Rachael Underwood and Jason Dotterweich. Also by her sister, Betty Wiley of Rapid City, SD; along with many nieces and nephews.  

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband James E. Underwood; by her parents Ray and Irene Miller; mother-in-law Leota Underwood; brother Howard Miller and his wife Donna Miller; sister Doris Dietz and her husband’s Bob Murphy and Bob Dietz, brother-in-law Don Wiley, her niece Sandy Casey and many close friends.

The family wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to the staff at Theda Care Appleton 8th floor as they could be with Shirley due to COVID restrictions, which made it impossible for her family to be by her side.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent to the Fox Valley Humane Association or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

A private service will be held for the family and a memorial service at a later date to celebrate Shirley’s life.

To send flowers to Shirley's family, please visit our floral store.


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