Ann Beecher Underwood, 94, of Kimball Farms Nursing Care, Lenox, died July 8, 2019, at Berkshire Medical Center after a brief illness.
Born on Jan. 26, 1925, in Hartford, Connecticut, the daughter of Eldridge Martin and Florence Hannegan Beecher, Mrs. Underwood graduated from Oxford School (now Kingswood-Oxford) in West Hartford and Connecticut College in 1946. Mrs. Underwood was a resident of Stockbridge from 1947 to 2002, when she moved to Kimball Farms. She and her husband, L. Gardner Underwood, were married Jan. 25, 1947, at St. John’s Episcopal Church in West Hartford, Connecticut. The newlyweds moved to the Knoll in Stockbridge while they renovated their home on Prospect Hill, which they moved into in 1950.
Active in the First Congregational Church in Stockbridge, Mrs. Underwood served three terms as a deacon as well as serving on several other committees of the church. She sang in the church choir for 30 years. Mrs. Underwood was also a member of the Junior League, the Mahkeenac Boating Club and the Red Hats, along with various environmental and human rights groups. Having inaugurated in 1969 and developed the school library from one box of books to a collection of over 10,000 volumes, Mrs. Underwood served as school librarian at Berkshire Country Day School for 30 years. It was her great joy to read aloud to and choose colorful and interesting books for her many students over the years.
She lived at Kimball Farms for 17 years, and served there as chairman of the trips committee, the library committee, Kimball Gives committee, and the dining and nutrition committee. She enjoyed daily walks in her beloved woods with her dogs, travel with her dear friend Joyce Hovey, reading, lifelong learning, attending dog shows, time spent with family in the Adirondacks, and, of course, her grandsons and great-grandsons. Her gentle nature, artful conversation, unending curiosity, genuine kindness and generosity will be missed by all who knew her.
She is survived by her daughter Charlotte (Sally) Underwood-Miller and son-in-law Gary Miller of Stockbridge; two grandsons: Jesse Underwood-Miller, wife Jamie Amuso and their three sons, Oscar, Levi and Dexter Underwood-Miller of Pittsfield, and James Underwood-Miller of Holyoke; her four nieces: Patter Field (Ted Thornton), Kate Field, Lula Field and Margaret Field (James Sharp); great-nieces Kate Wilson (Andrew Wertz) and Leila Giovannoni (Wes Snyder); great-nephew Michael Giovannoni; and great-grandnephew Samuel Wertz. Mrs. Underwood was predeceased by her husband in 1975 and her grandson, Winston Beecher Underwood-Miller, as well as her sister-in-law and brother-in-law Suzanne Underwood and Samuel Field III.
At her request, a private service will be held at the family grave site in Hazelton, New York. Officiating will be the Rev. Ted Thornton. A celebration of life is planned for the fall at the First Congregational Church of Stockbridge. The Roche Funeral Home in Lenox will be in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to Mass Audubon or the Sierra Club. To share memories and stories, visit rochefuneralhome.com.