Kerry Underwood


with 10 comments

My Dad died two years ago today, Christmas Eve 2011.

He was 96 and died in his sleep and had been in good physical health and perfect mental health until a week earlier.

Dad fought in the Second World War, landing on D-Day, and was decorated before being shot and seriously wounded during the Allied advance through Holland. He was not expected to survive but in fact lived for another 67 years and virtually never had a day off work.

Dad was a lifelong socialist and Queens Park Rangers supporter and was born in Shepherd’s Bush and saw his first match at Loftus Road in the 1920’s and continued to go to QPR matches until he was in his 90’s. We had a 90th birthday party for Dad in a box at Loftus Road. I was taken to my first QPR game at White City when aged 6. We used to discuss at what point Dad stopped taking us to football and we started taking him!

A polite and mild-mannered man, Dad was unwaveringly honest and principled, refusing private medical treatment and refusing to have Sky – or anything Murdoch related – in the house.

He and Mum, who died on New Year’s Day two years earlier, were married for 69 years

People occasionally refer to a parent as being a moral compass. It was only when Dad died that I realized the full meaning and truth of that.

Inevitably Christmas and New Year are tinged with sadness at present, but also with gratitude for my parents’ lives.

I still miss Dad every day.

Written by kerryunderwood

December 24, 2013 at 8:42 am

Posted in Uncategorized

10 Responses

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  1. A very merry holiday season Kerry and you’re right parents are very important and we should cherish them.

    Sent from my iPhone

    Ashiq Patel

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    ashiq patel

    December 24, 2013 at 8:48 am

  2. Your post struck a very deep chord with me. My father and mother are both 92 and living in the family home and leading full lives within the limits of their frailties. I can see how exceptional they are and every visit to them is a very real bonus. Wishing you a happy Xmas. Anne

    Anne Maguire
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    Anne Maguire

    December 24, 2013 at 9:11 am

  3. Hi Kerry,

    Very nice sentiments expressed. I also lost my Dad and Mum in the same year some 6 years ago through cancer and this time of year especially for remembering, honouring and of course celebrating their lives and achievements always.

    I wish you and your Family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

    Kind regards,

    William Chambers.
    Law Costs Draftsman / Negotiator

    William Chambers

    December 24, 2013 at 9:19 am

    • Hi William
      That is very kind. Thank-you. You and yours have a great festive season too.


      December 24, 2013 at 12:55 pm

  4. Dear Kerry,

    I am an avid reader of your blog and have read with interest all of your posts, particularly over the last year and these times of uncertainty. Thanks for all of the helpful guidance you have provided and I am hoping to attend one of your training courses next year.

    I have not previously left a reply but your touching tribute to your Dad really struck a chord. Sadly my Dad passed away two years ago (on 25 Nov) as well. He narrowly missed out on meeting my daughter (his first Grandchild).

    He was a keen sportsman and Captained Hull City boys. He had various trials at professional clubs in the 60s (Arsenal, Middlesborough etc.) and was offered contracts when he was 15. My Grandad turned them down because he needed a ‘proper’ job. He became an Engineer. He too was a humble man, married for nearly 35 years, with a similarly strong work ethic and desire to do the right think (although I think he bowed to the draw of Sky TV!).

    I used to think we were completely different characters (and I knew so much more than he did!) but it is only now he has gone that I am beginning to realise how much of a legacy he has left behind and that everything that I have achieved in my life so far is down to him (and my Mum) and the sacrifices they made for me and my siblings. I didn’t realise until now just how alike me and my Dad really are. I wish I could just spend one more day with him!

    I wish you all the best for Christmas and look forward to reading your next post in the New Year.

    Jonathan Cape

    December 24, 2013 at 10:26 am

    • Jonathan

      That is very moving. I am currently reading Sycamore Row – John Grisham’s latest – and one of the characters, but I think it is John Grisham himself speaking, refers to grief, followed by acceptance, but then after a couple of years a different feeling for men in relation to their fathers, and that is missing speaking to them for advice on ordinary day to day matters. I think it is true and that without realizing it we received so much advice and guidance, which is no longer there, but it takes us a bit of time to realize that.



      December 30, 2013 at 2:21 pm

  5. Hi Kerry,

    Very nice and moving piece. Similarly, my dad died on Christmas Day, but 26 years ago! He would have been nearly 90 now and he too fought in the Second World War!

    As you say, it changes Christmas forever!

    At least you had him around for a bit longer, to get to know him better. Sounds like you had some good times!
    My mum is 92 and not in a good state really, so every year we wonder!
    Anyway I hope you have a good Christmas and try to remember the good times!

    All the best,



    December 24, 2013 at 10:53 am

    • Hi Russ

      That is very moving. Thank-you. We did indeed have some good times.

      You have a good Christmas too.




      December 24, 2013 at 12:57 pm

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