Joseph Leon Pringle Jr. helped put the first men on the moon and that’s hard to top, but his greatest accomplishment in life might be a lesson he passed on decades later.
Pringle, a Satsuma resident who died July 8, was born in Hattiesburg, Miss., in 1932. He became that state’s youngest ham radio operator in his teens. He rose high in the ranks of the Boy Scouts. He served in the Navy. He got a degree in geology, planning to search for oil in the Middle East, then got another in electrical engineering and went to work for Ford Motor Co. When Ford and its Philco subsidiary were tapped to build NASA’s Mission Control in Houston, he was one of the engineers involved in the project and that’s how he came to be sitting at a console monitoring the electrical systems of Apollo 11 when the room heard Neil Armstrong report, “The Eagle has landed.”
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