Former Senator, James Holland Underwood, Remembered


Guam – James Holland Underwood II passed away the morning of July 24, 2013, surrounded by his wife Lagrimas Underwood, son James Holland Underwood III, his sister Rosemarie Underwood and family members.

Jim, as he was affectionately known, was a five-term senator in the 13th through the 17th Guam Legislature. Among his accomplishments, he authored legislation to establish the Guam Environmental Protection Agency, he successfully secured Duty-Free Shoppers’ bond financing guarantee to build the Guam International Airport Authority and was a Constitution Convention delegate. He was also instrumental in legislating the construction of the sidewalks on San Vitores Road in Tumon – Guam’s tourism district.

In addition to being a Senator, he was also Director and Administrator of various government of Guam agencies for several administrations, like the Department of Public Health and Social Services, the Guam Telephone Authority, the Guam Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Integrated Services for Individuals with Disabilities and was a proponent for the rights of Guamanians to have their voices heard so they may realize their geo-political aspirations.

Beyond his work in politics, he was a mover and shaker in the community. He led the way to promote civic responsibility as a member of the Young Men’s League of Guam, supported organizations such as Guam Women’s Club, strong advocate for the Youth Congress and two-term past president of the Rotary Club of Guam. A notable point in his leadership in the club was the establishment of the Karuizawa Student Exchange lasting over four decades. It was this passion, determination and dedication, which has inspired years generations of Guamanians to serve Guam and her people

He was a faithful man – one who found strength in his faith in the Lord, and devotion to Our lady and shared it with the community. A physical representation can be found as a concrete crucifix visited annually on Humuyong Manglu. Every year he narrated the December 8th Procession in honor of the Santa Maria Kamalen. He was devoted to continuing a tradition of service during the Midnight Mass on Christmas.

More than anything, he was a family man. He was the son of former Senator Raymond Ferdinand Underwood and Ana Eclavea Torres Underwood who owned and operated Marianas Sales and Tendan Nene in Agana. He married Lagrimas “Ama” Torres in 1988, and they had James Holland Underwood III that same year.

His immediate family also includes his sister, Rosemarie Underwood and her children, Ray and Shelly Gibson, Mana Silva-Taijeron, and his god-son Dave Silva III, and his step daughters, Lisa and Theresa Fisher and their children.

We remember Jim, not only by his accomplishments, or infectious smile and humor, but for the love he had for his family, and the island he called ‘home.’

The family sends their sincerest un dangkulu na si Yu’os Ma’åse for the outpouring of support, love and condolences. A Mass will be held on Tuesday at the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Agana, Guam at 11 a.m.  


“The Simple Path
Silence is Prayer
Prayer is Faith
Faith is Love
Love is Service
The Fruit of Service is Peace”
― Mother Teresa