Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Constance 'Connie' Rae Underwood

Sept. 18, 1939 - July 21, 2021


August 12, 2021

Constance ‘Connie’ Rae Underwood passed peacefully on July 21, 2021.

Connie was born Sept. 18, 1939, to Reynold and Genevieve Oenning on the family farm in Tensed, Idaho. She attended schools in Tekoa, Washington, until the family moved to Tacoma in 1955. There she attended St. Leo’s Catholic High School. She later attended City University in Tacoma, Washington.

Connie started her business career as a bookkeeper for Dr. R. Johnson and later Dr. L. Houser. She worked several years in the HR department of Reichold Chemical and had a ship christened in her name as a thank you for her hard work. From there she went to work for the State of Washington in Child Services. The adventurous side of Connie saw her leave the state and take the payroll coordinator position for Exxon in Alaska during the Valdez Oil Spill. When that job was completed, she returned to Washington and resumed her career at the Child Services job she formerly held.

She married Donald Underwood in 1967. Their blended family included Connie’s daughter, Christine Kay Suprenant Dillinger and Jeff Underwood.

Connie enjoyed gardening, traveling, WSU Cougar games, other fun activities and family gatherings. Her and Don enjoyed visiting numerous west coast states with their travel trailer. Their favorite trip was traveling the Alaska Highway to Anchorage. The highlight of that trip was watching the Iditarod Dog Sled Race.

Connie was preceded in death by her parents, and her husband and best friend Don Underwood. She is survived by her daughter, Christine Kay Suprenant and son-in-law Wayne Dillinger, with their children Hannah and Shannon Dillinger; her stepson Jeff Underwood with his sons Cody and Austin; her granddaughter Tobi (Dillinger) Leidy and great-grandchildren, Gracie, Emma and Jack Leidy. Also surviving is her sister Diane Kelly, and brothers, Gerald, Thomas, Victor and Larry Oenning; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

At her request there will be no service and her ashes will be interned in a private ceremony in Uniontown, Washington.


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