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Pleys D. Underdown
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Obituary for Pleys D. Underdown

Pleys D. Underdown

Pleys Dillard Underdown, 81, went to be with his Lord and Savior Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis.

Pleys was born on November 11, 1935 to Pleys Henry and Olive Jane Underdown in Richmond, California. He was raised in Chicago, Illinios until the age of 14, when he moved to his farm home near Spring Bluff, Missouri where he has lived for 67 years.

In high school, Pleys was involved in FFA activities and sports. Shortly after graduating from Sullivan High School in 1955, he enlisted in the army and was honorably discharged following his mother’s death, to attend to his grandfather.

He met his wife, Joy Danz, during high school and they were married in 1957 at United Church of Christ in Gerald, Missouri.

After the wedding, Pleys worked for 13 years at Midwest Shoe in Sullivan. There, he earned the distinction of being the fastest leather cutter on the floor.

In 1970, he took the risk of starting his own utility contracting business, named Pleys Underdown Trenching Service. He grew the business to over 20 employees within a few short years and was well-known by the SW Bell employees to be an honest businessman whose company did the highest-quality work. Throughout his working career, he was always careful to give the credit to the Lord for any of his successes. He would often say, “Sometimes I just can’t believe how the Lord has blessed me.” Pleys entered into a partnership with his oldest son Ray and after 31 years retired from the business, knowing it was in great hands.

His grandparents, his mother and he were instrumental in helping the Sullivan Christian Church continue. When they moved to Spring Bluff, they immediately began attending the Sullivan Christian Church, where less than 10 people were regularly attending. Pleys has faithfully attended SCC since 1950 and has been an Elder there for more than 40 years. His leadership was instrumental in helping the church not only survive but thrive over the years and he considered it his most-important personal involvement outside of his family.

Pleys also loved to farm and hunt deer and pheasant. Several different season, he took pride in being one of the first hunters to arrive at the local conservation office with his deer. The auction house at Cuba often sold his cattle for more per pound than the others that day, because the auctioneers would tell buyers that the calves were high quality solely because they were raised on Pleys Underdown’s farm.

Pleys enjoyed traveling. Every year he took his family on a vacation, creating lasting memories they still discuss today. He and Joy traveled through all 50 states and to several foreign countries.

Pleys was known by many as a friendly, approachable and fun-loving person. He seemed to never be afraid to strike up a conversation with a perfect stranger and he seemed to relish in the opportunity to talk to complete strangers and figure out someone they both knew in common. Above all, Pleys dearly loved his wife and family. Everything Pleys and Joy did, revolved around their family.

Pleys is survived by his wife of 60 years, Joy L. [Danz] Underdown; two sons, Pleys R.Underdown and wife Julie of Union, Missouri; Rodney Underdown and Kim of Overland Park, Kansas; one daughter, Rhonda J. Dudenhoffer and husband Randy of St. Louis, Missouri; eight grandchildren, David (wife Gabrielle), John (wife Morgan), Tyler (wife Hannah), Emily, Madison, Maxwell, Andrew and Olivia; one great-granddaughter, Elise Rose and two expected great-grandsons; many other relatives and close church family and friends.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, June 30, 2017 at Sullivan Christian Church with interment in Cave Spring Cemetery.

Visitation will be held from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m., Thursday, June 29, 2017 at Sullivan Christian Church.

Memorials to the Sullivan Christian Church are appreciated.

Friends may send condolences to the Underdown family at

All arrangements were under the care of the Eaton Funeral Home in Sullivan, Missouri.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Pleys D. Underdown, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





3:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Sullivan Christian Church

912 MO-185
Sullivan, MO 63080





11:00 AM
Sullivan Christian Church

912 MO-185
Sullivan, MO 63080

Lunch will be served back at the church following the graveside service at Cave Springs Cemetery.

Cemetery Details


Cave Springs Cemetery

Highway 185
Sullivan, MO 63080

Memorial Contribution

Sullivan Christian Church

912 MO-185
Sullivan, MO 63080

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