Michael J. Underhill (Batesville Ruritan)

Michael Underhill was

a member of the

Batesville Ruritan Club

Obituary from the Daily Progress website:

Michael J. Underhill, 72, passed away on Tuesday, February 9, 2016. He was born in San Francisco and grew up In Los Gatos, California. Michael lived his early adult life in various Northern California locales, including San Francisco and Mendocino. He owned and operated a variety of businesses, including a general contracting company, a body shop, a record store and more.

In 1974, Michael met the love of his life, Marylaure. In 1980, he and Marylaure packed up his son, Jamie and all the animals, left the Bay Area, and headed to Hot Springs, Virginia. They fortuitously missed their exit and ended up in Batesville. They fell in love with Batesville and made it their home.

At their new house overlooking the village, Michael worked his magic and turned an old residence into a beautiful home. He built fish ponds and bountiful gardens, bringing an old house from disrepair into a stunning masterpiece. Michael lived many places, but it is safe to say that Batesville was his home. He equated Batesville to being his own Lake Woebegone. He was always present and available, helping to organize events like Batesville Day and the traditional Ruritan apple butter fest, and his remarkable fireworks displays lit up the village on many holidays. Michael always brought the fun and made things larger than life.

Michael was an active and devoted member of Alcoholics Anonymous. He was a Founder of the Greenwood Group which he called his home group for more than 35 years. He was committed to his own sobriety and to helping others who suffered from the disease of Alcoholism. He was devoted to service and was there when anyone was reaching out for the hand of AA.

Michael leaves a legacy of being a truly great neighbor and will be sorely missed by all. He was not only a friend to all people but also to animals — flyers, runners and swimmers alike. He cared for and loved them all.

Michael is survived by his sons, Jamie Underhill, and Eliot Underhill; his daughter-in-law, Jenny Underhill; his brother, Richard W. Underhill; his nephew, Eli Underhill and his wife, Amy; his great nieces, Charlotte and Caroline Underhill; his village family, and many dear friends. He is preceded in death by Marylaure, his loving wife of 35 years. He is also preceded in death by many cherished four legged companions — Mrs. Murphy, Beauregard, Moxie, Tyrone, and many other animals fortunate enough to have been under his care.

A service will be held at the Emmanuel Episcopal Church on Highway 250 in Greenwood on Friday, February 19, 2016, at 2 p.m. with a reception following at the Batesville Market.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Charlottesville/Albemarle SPCA.