July 2 2021 08:15 AM

He founded the irrigation company after leaving Rain Bird.

Gary Underhill, founder of Underhill International Corporation, Irvine, California, passed away at the age of 84 June 22, 2021, according to company President Ed Underhill, Gary’s son.

Ed provided Gary’s obituary, which follows:

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Hurshel Garrison “Gary” Underhill. Born in Wichita, Kansas, Gary passed away peacefully at the age of 84 on June 22, 2021, in San Juan Capistrano with his loving wife at his side. Fittingly, on that day, every member of Gary and Dee’s family was together on a joyful vacation – the kind of gathering Gary most loved to plan with and for his family.

Gary studied geology at the University of Kansas where he met Dee Arn, a cute little coed, on a blind date. Following their marriage, Gary was commissioned into the United States Navy in 1959, serving our country while stationed in Yokosuka, Japan. Gary loved his Navy years. Upon completion of his service, Gary began business school at Stanford University, which led to a career at Rain Bird Corporation in Glendora, California, which Gary helped lead to global success. With irrigation and water conservation as two great passions, Gary left Rain Bird to establish his own irrigation company, Underhill International Corporation.

Gary was a lover of nature and ahead of his time as a water conservationist. He was an avid reader and learner throughout his life. Most of all, Gary loved his friends and family. There was always an extra seat at the table. His home was your home and when you left, you would be well fed over a meal that included a deep and meaningful conversation. Gary loved all games – especially backgammon – and particularly enjoyed playing with the younger generations in our family. He traveled throughout the world, visiting all seven continents. But most of all, Gary loved the deck of his Laguna Beach home, overlooking the ocean with a majestic sunset, a gentle breeze and a wonderful meal with his wife and a dog by his side.

Gary leaves his wife, Dolores “Dee” Underhill; three children – Charlene Underhill Miller (John), Stephanie Bollenbacher (Michael) and Edward Underhill (Karina); six grandchildren – Katelyn Quintero (Matt), Garrison Bollenbacher (Bethany), Madison Underhill, Austin Underhill, Morgan Underhill, Matthew Miller; and one great granddaughter, Olivia Grace Quintero. Gary will live in our hearts forever as we all seek in our own lives to carry on his legacy and values. A celebration of Gary’s remarkable life will be held at 11:00 am on July 10 at the Clubhouse in Three Arch Bay, 5 Bay Drive, Laguna Beach. Festive beach attire requested. In lieu of flowers, a gift in Gary’s name may be made to your favorite charity.