Eugene Kenneth Underwood
July 12, 1941 – December 8, 2011
Inspired by his father, who was a volunteer firefighter, Gene grew an interest in electronics and ham radio. He and his father passed their first ham tests with Gene's license arriving on his 13th birthday. They had the consecutive call numbers W7AKA and W7AKB.
The ham station that then began in basement of his parents' home brought many thrilling communication contacts and experiences for Gene, including working MARS stations to help service men communicate with their families in the aftermath of the 1964 Alaskan earthquake.
In 1963 Gene met Fran who, 14 months later, would become his wife and a few years later his ham radio partner. Together the couple taught amateur radio classes at the Red Cross for 10 years.
Gene completed 17-½ years as a volunteer firefighter for King County District 25. He saved many lives as an EMT and likely many more through the hundreds of CPR classes that he instructed. He even worked the 1962 Seattle World's Fair.Public service groups and events Gene chaired included:
- American Lung Association, 10 years
- Off Road Racing, 5 years
- Cascade Bicycle group, 20 years
- RAMROD, 25 years
- Seattle Marathon Association, 13 years
The last event Gene worked was the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon on November 27, 2011.
This year we dedicate the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon 2012 to Gene Underwood. His great big heart and love of serving has and continues to impact us all.