Resthaven Funeral Home & Resthaven Memorial Park

5740 West 19th Street, Lubbock, TX


Mary Jo Underwood

March 13, 1941July 24, 2020
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Mary Jo Underwood, a longtime resident of Lubbock, Texas, passed away on July 24, 2020 at the age of 79. She was born in Akron, Ohio, on March 13, 1941 to Frank and Ethel Bresciani, who later changed their name to Best. The family moved to Lubbock in 1953 where she graduated from Monterey High School in 1959. Mary Jo was wed to James Ronald Underwood on November 23, 1960 in Lubbock where they lived the majority of their nearly 60 year marriage. Mary Jo loved the many trips her and James enjoyed over the years. They were able to visit many wonderful places both within the US and abroad. She loved Bible studies, flower and vegetable gardening, cooking, sewing and quilting …… but nothing more than spending time with her family. Sleep overs, family dinners, cook outs, game nights, special trips, pool parties—any and every excuse to have family over. She was a fun person and lived life to the fullest. With a passion for children, Mary Jo sponsored several in Haiti and at the Lubbock Children’s Home. She also served on the board of the Lubbock Children’s Home at one time. She started a scholarship fund for graduating seniors at Monterey Church of Christ. Mary Jo cared deeply for women also, sponsoring ladies at Smithlawn Maternity home and beginning a ladies Bible study for working women. Her other activities included co-chairing and working in the prayer garden at Monterey Church of Christ, Let’s Start Talking, preparing food for Hope Lodge and delivering Meals on Wheels. She helped anyone in need; devoted herself to Christ; loved deeply; and was deeply loved. Mary Jo is survived by her husband, James Underwood; her children, Kathy Black and husband Ken, Vicky Benjamin and husband Steve and Jimmy Underwood; eight grandchildren, Jessie Black and wife Angela, Heidi Walton and husband Ty, Kandace Pound and husband Anthony, Jimi Underwood, James Black, Hannah Payton and husband Christopher, Steven Underwood, Hunter Benjamin and wife Jorja; eight great-grandchildren, Merriam Walton, Jonah Black, Logan Black, Micah Walton, Amelia Black, Kaylee Black, Mason Walton and Henry Pound; brothers Larry and Glen Best and sister, Lou Ann Anderson. Visitation will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Sunday, August 2, 2020 in Resthaven’s Abbey Chapel. Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, August 3, 2020 at Monterey Church of Christ in Lubbock. Livestream will be available through Resthaven’s Facebook. Remembrances can be made to the Prayer Garden at Monterey Church of Christ in Lubbock. Please visit www.resthavenfuneralhome.com for online tributes.


  • Jessie Black
  • James Black
  • Jimi Underwood
  • Steven Underwood
  • Hunter Benjamin
  • Ty Walton
  • Christopher Payton
  • Anthony Pound


  • Visitation

    Sunday, August 2, 2020

  • Celebration of Life Memorial Service

    Monday, August 3, 2020


Mary Jo Underwood

have a memory or condolence to add?

Milton Anderson

August 3, 2020

Mary Jo and James came into my life when we all were 17 years old.
That was 62 years ago.

Always smiling , helpful and happy, it should be known she has always been that way.

She will be missed but not ever forgotten.

Best wishes and healing thoughts to James( my best friend in High School and College) and to all Mary Jo’s family and friends .

I wish you could have known her as long as I did.

Mel & Dee Hayes

August 3, 2020

James and family,

So sorry for your sudden loss. We know Mary Jo Will be greatly missed. You all have great memories of her as a wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and great grandmother. Dee and I have many memories also. The visits we made to Lubbock, Virginia, and Branson to meet James, Mary Jo, and family were always special times. Their visits to us in Akron and Wadsworth were appreciated as well. James and I always said Mary Jo and Dee were so much alike in their interest in serving others through church and community, and crafts and sewing projects. When we think of Mary Jo psalms 91 comes to mind. Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord : he alone is my refuge, my place of safety ; he is my God and I trust him. Praying for the entire family during this time.

Love Mel and Dee Hayes

Rashell (Nowell) Wilhoit

August 3, 2020

You were a God-send to me during my first 2 years at Lubbock Christian! Kathy was my roommate in the dorm. You always made me feel so welcome in your home and a part of your family as this California Girl was so far from home. I have retold the story so many times of when I had to have my wisdom teeth out and Kathy brought me back to your house to recover! You treated me like your own! From reading other tributes I know that God gave you many gifts, to include the gift of hospitality. Even though I was blessed to be around you so many years ago, you continued to share that gift , and so many others, with everyone you came in contact with. You let your light shine continually! May God bless and comfort your family during this difficult time. May it bring them comfort to be reminded of the joy and light you brought (and your memory will continue to bring)to them and so many others.

Russell Riggan

August 2, 2020

To the Underwood family,
I have tried several times over the last couple of days to think of the right words to say to extend my sympathy, and to share a bit of the positive impact Mary Jo had on my life when I was younger.
The two words that come to mind over and over are "thank you".
Thank you for your kindness and hospitality shown over and over to rambunctious Youth Group kids from Monterey Church of Christ.
Thank you for kind words in those all to infrequent visits back to Lubbock in general, and Monterey in specifics.
But most of all, thank you for giving not only me, but everyone you met a glimpse of Jesus.
May God bless you and comfort you.

Sasha Chavez

July 31, 2020

Mary Jo,
You never treated me like an employee...even from the 1st day. I so enjoyed our bi weekly visits, as you would call them and will miss them terribly. I will miss our little talks. And how you would excitedly show me how far you had gotten on a quilt or layout for the next one. I will miss hearing the whirl of your sewing machine and your soaps playing in the background while I cleaned. Thank you for your kindness, love and friendship. Although I didn't have the pleasure of knowing you a long time...it sure felt like I'd known you always. You welcomed me in and made me feel at home. I will miss your smile that would light everything up and your dear hugs that you gave so freely. I'm glad I got to see you a few days before you passed...I just wish I had known it was to be the last time. I would have lingered a bit longer...hugged you a bit tighter. I was very blessed to have met you and know you the time I did and for that time I will forever be grateful. I thank God for you daily. You will never be forgotten ❤

Heidi Walton

July 31, 2020

Heidi Walton

July 31, 2020

Heidi Walton

July 31, 2020

Grama we miss you so much. You were always there for us. You came to the ER with me when I had to take the kids, you took every opportunity to show them love and they felt that. You would always call to see if I wanted your leftovers “that weren’t very good” haha. You would sing to my kids. You made Merriam feel special and just like your other grandchildren from the moment we adopted her. You came and held Mason in NICU. When you were at the grocery store you would forget what you had at home so you just bought more, you have so much canned food and jello mix. You’re so beautiful. You were ruthless at games, which we loved to play with you. You gave a closet full of toys for the kids, you bought walkers, high chairs and play pins so your grand babies would have everything they needed when they came to see you. You were so generous and kind. The love you and Papa had was beautiful. I loved how y’all were together. You taught we so much. You are the very best grandma. XOXO, Heidi

Jeannie Jones

July 30, 2020

To all you Underwood’s,

My heart is with you as you grieve the loss of Mary Jo and rejoice of her home in heaven.

Madison Anderson

July 30, 2020


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