Raised in Holbrook, Arizona, Robert and Richard Underwood learned to beautify their world from their father, a County Agent with a deep passion for the land. Nurturing the sandy native soil with richer top soil, they put in a lawn that was the envy of the town. They planted elm trees as a windbreak against the strong winds that blew through and a weeping willow that grew to 60 feet in height. They didn’t realize they were planting the seeds for their future business.

When Bob was discharged from the Service in 1971, he worked as a landscape laborer and discovered he loved it. In 1975, he borrowed a pickup truck from his uncle and $1000 from his mother to start AAA Landscape in Tucson. He asked his brother Rick to join him 6 months later, because Rick had his own pickup. Since then, they have had a leading presence in both the Tucson and Phoenix areas. 

Although Bob and Rick became highly successful businessmen, they also worked from an artist’s heart.  This is the source of the company’s tagline: We Beautify the World. Seeing their vocation as a calling, as well as a profession, they view the company’s work as an opportunity to positively impact people’s lives on a daily basis. This is the true purpose of AAA Landscape.

The landscape industry was Richard’s passion until he passed away on October 3rd, 2021. His dedication to improving environments and those who care for them live on in the countless landscapes he helped create.

President Richard K. Underwood

President Richard K. Underwood

In Memoriam (1946 – 2021)

Richard K. Underwood was raised in Holbrook Arizona.  He attended the University of Arizona and was lettered in Wrestling.  While working as an Ironworker and a professional rodeo cowboy riding bulls and bucking horses, his brother Robert asked him to help with his landscape company and the rest is their legacy.

Richard joined the company at the request of his brother Bob.  The iconic story of how it all began was told best by Richard when added.  “I came to help and never left.”  He was a member of the Developers Review Board of Oro Valley and assisted in the development of the N.P.P.O. ordinances for Pima County and Oro Valley.  He was an influential board member and member of various chambers including the Tucson Metro Chamber, Marana Chamber of Commerce, and was a founding member of the Oro Valley Chamber of Commerce.  He was also a member of various organizations that contribute to the growth of Arizona, Metropolitan Pima Alliance, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Life Director of Southern Arizona Home Builders Association, The Urban Land Institute, Arizona Open Land Trust, Arizona Planning Institute, and Arizona Forward.  In the landscape industry, Richard was an active member in the landscape industry and served on the board of the Arizona Landscape Contractors Association.  Richard was also a founding member of Canyon Community Bank and a Principal owner of Arid Solutions Nursery.  His love of the University of Arizona was evident in his commitment as a Member of the University of Arizona President’s Club, Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, and Board Member of the University of Architecture Guidance Committee.

The Underwoods built and donated the Underwood Sonoran Landscape Laboratory at the College of Architecture & Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona to focus on water conservation and design. Every landscape environment in which Richard Underwood touched will carry his legacy.

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