Obituary: Francis R. Underwood, 76

by | Sep 14, 2023

An exceptional naturalist and photographer

After a rapid sickness, Francis R. Underwood passed away on September 12, 2023, at the age of 76. Francis was born in West Warwick, RI, and he was raised in East Greenwich. He was the son of the late Herbert P. Underwood and Alice Regan Underwood. Francis was predeceased by his brother Herbie Underwood and his nephew Peter H. Underwood. He was the beloved brother of Maureen A. Underwood and uncle of Kimberly (Underwood) Samartano. He will be deeply missed by his three great nieces and one great nephew. 

Francis was a proud graduate of the University of Rhode Island. GO RAMS! At URI he studied botany and chemistry. He later became a microbiologist for the State of Rhode Island, as well as biologist, chemist, and microbiologist for the Narragansett Bay Commission. Francis was an exceptional naturalist and photographer; he had an extraordinary talent of identifying plants and butterflies. He was an appreciated member of the Rhode Island Task Force of the New England Plant Conservation Program. In 2017, Francis was awarded as the Rhode Island Natural History Survey Distinguished Naturalist. 

Beyond his scientific accomplishments, Francis had the kindest soul and a great sense of humor. He could bring a smile to anyone’s face. His joyous spirit will be missed dearly.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, September 15 at 9:00am at Our Lady of Mercy Church, 65 Third St., East Greenwich. Burial will be in St. Patrick Cemetery, East Greenwich. 

You can leave an online condolence at the Hill Funeral Home website HERE.

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EG News Obituary Policy: We post obituaries relevant to our readers. If you would like to share an obituary, send it to [email protected]. Put “obituary” in the subject line. 

Posted 9/14/23

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October 9, 2023 8:10 am

Our condolences and regards to the Underwood family. Another piece of the fabric torn asunder.

Bruce & Elaine Mastracchio


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