Tony Hawk surprises skater’s widow with home remodel
Ten years ago, Carlsbad skating legend Tony Hawk lost his best friend when his former skating partner Ray Underhill died of cancer at age 45.
Before Underhill passed, Hawk promised to take care of his family and over the years he has regularly raised money for a foundation in Underhill’s name. This summer, Hawk upped the ante by surprising the family with a major home renovation.
“He’s Uncle Tony and he’s been there from day one,” said Kerry Overman, Underhill’s widow. “He’s been a blessing in my life.”
The multiweek project was captured in a 23-minute video that went live this morning on Houzz.com, a home renovation website. The monthly video series, “My Houzz,” features celebrities like Hawk, Mario Lopez and Olivia Munn surprising friends and family with renovations that use the Houzz website to locate regional designers and contractors, shop for housewares and use software tools to plan projects.
Hawk and Underhill met as teens when Underhill moved to San Diego from his native Nashville to become a pro skateboarder. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, they skated together on the Bones Brigade tour.
“We just shared the same sensibilities, the same ideals, the same sense of humor,” Hawk said in the video.
In 1992, Underhill married his wife, Kerry, and they had two children: Keaton, now 23, and Olivia, 16. Hawk is godfather to both. In 1998, the Underhill family left San Diego and moved to Wilmington, N.C., where he helped run a skate products company. In 2006, he was diagnosed with a rare chordoma brain cancer and after a two-year battle, he passed on Aug. 1, 2008.
Several years later, Kerry remarried and with her husband, Brad Overman, and with Olivia and their young daughter Scarlett, their aging house had grown cramped and its layout was dark, old-fashioned and not fully functional.
With the Overman family’s permission and a Wilmington-area remodeling company, Hawk designed and paid for the renovation of the family’s kitchen, living room and girls’ bathroom. The Overmans were overwhelmed by the changes during the video reveal.
“Tony is one of the most generous and kind people I know,” said Brad Overman. “Seeing how far he goes for our family and knowing he’s always got us on his mind is a wonderful and amazing thing.”
To watch the video, visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IDfYRKjntxc&feature=youtu.be