Official Obituary of

Colonel (Retired) Ernest Wayne Underwood

November 30, 1944 ~ March 12, 2024 (age 79) 79 Years Old

Colonel (Retired) Ernest Underwood Obituary

Colonel (Retired) Ernest Wayne Underwood, 79, of Oxford, Georgia, passed away on the 12th of March, 2024 shortly after contracting COVID.

Wayne was born on November 30th, 1944 to Ernest and Frances Underwood at their family home in Porterdale, Georgia.  After Wayne graduated from Newton County High School in 1962, he married his high school sweetheart Peggie Parker in 1964.  Shortly thereafter he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1966 and went on to serve his country for 24 years, retiring as a Colonel in 1990.  

Wayne, a venerable husband, father, grandfather, Army helicopter pilot, Signal Officer, and decorated war hero, passed away surrounded by his loving family. He is fondly remembered for his unwavering integrity, steadfast dedication, and exemplary service to his family and country. 

Wayne’s illustrious military career spanned 24 years and was marked by combat in Vietnam, overseas deployments in Germany and Korea and numerous stateside tours. 

As a valiant participant in the Vietnam War, Wayne piloted helicopters through countless missions embodying courage and commitment. His exceptional service earned him a distinguished array of 36 awards, including 20 Air Medals for valorous conduct, two Bronze Stars for bravery, three Meritorious Service Awards in recognition of his outstanding achievements, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry. The Vietnam Cross was also bestowed upon Wayne three times for acts of valor and gallantry during combat. 

Even more dauntless than his military achievements were his role as a husband, father and grandfather.  Never asking for anything in return, his unassuming efforts to support and raise his family was an example for all who knew him. Wayne's greatest pride and joy was his family. He was a devoted husband to his beloved wife, Peggie Underwood, cherishing nearly 60 years of marriage which he proclaimed as his most significant accomplishment. Together they raised three sons; Ron, Chris, and Clint, instilling in them the values of honor, duty, and integrity.  His remarkable legacy of courage and steadfast dedication to honesty and discipline will, undoubtedly, be carried forward by his boys and nine adored grandchildren; Kio, Mei, Andrew, Guy, Brodie, Adde, Ande, Elli Rae, and Emmi Lou. 

Colonel Underwood’s life was a beacon of exemplary duty, honorable service, and unwavering integrity. He was a loving father, a dedicated husband, and a man who could always be counted on to selflessly help others without exception. He is survived by his loving wife, Peggie, his three sons, two daughters-in-law, Kim and Yuko and nine grandchildren.  His memory will forever remain in the hearts of those he touched, serving as an enduring inspiration to all. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to veterans’ support organizations, continuing Ernest’s legacy of service and support to those who have served. 

Colonel Ernest Wayne Underwood will be laid to rest with full military honors, a fitting tribute to a true American hero.  His family invites all whose lives he touched to join a brief presentation of military honors at one o'clock (EST), 20th of March, 2024 at the J C Harwell & Son Funeral Home - 2157 East Street, Covington, Ga 30014

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Colonel (Retired) Ernest Wayne Underwood, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Colonel (Retired) Ernest Wayne Underwood?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Colonel (Retired) Ernest's memory.


Military Honors
March 20, 2024

1:00 PM
J.C. Harwell & Son Funeral Home
2157 East Street, SE
Covington, Georgia 30014


© 2024 J. C. Harwell Funeral & Cremation Chapel. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility