Earl J. Underbrink, 92, of Fort Dodge, died Tuesday, August 26, 2014, at the Simpson Health Center.
A service honoring Earl's life will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 2, at the Celebration Center at Friendship Haven with the Rev. Austin Hill and the Rev. Anita Johnson officiating. Family interment services will be held with military honors presented by the United States Navy Honor Guard and V.F.W. Post No. 1856. The family will greet friends on Monday, September 1, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Celebration Center at Friendship Haven.
He is survived by his wife Pauline; their children Charles Earl (Melanie) Underbrink (and their daughter Piper) of Park City, Utah; Thomas David (Catherine) Underbrink (and their children, Lucas, Erin and Evan) of Enumclaw, Washington; Ann Underbrink Hill (and her children, Jim, John and Jessica) of Minneapolis, Minnesota; brother Robert Underbrink of Jacksonville, Illinois; and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and by his son James Stuart Underbrink.
Earl J. Underbrink, the son of John Earl and Lena (Liter) Underbrink, was born September 20, 1922, in Jacksonville, Illinois. He received a B.A. in Economics from Illinois College at Jacksonville before serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was commanding officer for two ships serving in both the Pacific and Atlantic theaters during his time of service.
Earl began his career in banking in 1947 with a position at the Waterloo Savings Bank. In 1950 Earl was united in marriage to Pauline Evermann. In 1962 he graduated from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University and a year later he accepted the position of President of the First National Bank in Ft. Dodge. He remained President of the bank through changes in name and ownership for nearly 25 years. He was active with the Iowa Bankers Association and was Vice President of the American Bankers Association.
Earl was active in many leadership roles for civic and charitable organizations in Ft. Dodge. Some of these included serving as president of the Chamber of Commerce, president of the Downtown Fort Dodge Development Corporation, president of the Fort Dodge Betterment Foundation, president of the Fort Dodge Rotary Club, campaign chairman of the United Fund, president of the Downtown Fort Dodge Self Supported Municipal District, officer of the First United Methodist Church, first chairman of the Mid-Iowa Development Corporation (MIDAS) and member of the Advisory Council for Iowa Central Community College. He was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad to the Iowa State "Main Street" Advisory Council. In March 1983 he received the "Service to Mankind" award from the Sertoma Sundowners. He was also a member of the Elks, American Legion, YMCA, and Amvets. Throughout his career Earl was devoted to promoting Fort Dodge and serving the community.
Earl was an athlete and runner and shortly before retiring in 1987 he was selected to take part in the "Torch Run" relay carrying the Olympic torch for the Iowa Games. After his retirement Earl and Pauline traveled extensively and enjoyed spending time with family at their lake home on the Whitefish chain in Cross Lake, Minnesota.