Sad News

[]Carl Pingry, a long time member of CCA has passed away. Carl was an active CCA member years ago but only an occasional attendee in recent years. He volunteered for a number of charities including the Settlement Home, Lady Bird Wildflower and AGE Computer Lab. The AGE people circulated a nice obit which I am passing on. Since this email was first circulated in mid-July, Les Carlton has left intensive care and is continuing to recuperate.

Carl Pingry, who held the AGE Computer Lab together for more than 18 years, passed away on Friday at 2:45 p.m. from injuries he sustained in a tragic car accident in Yellowstone National Park. Tom Pingry, his brother from Indiana, is planning a cremation in Idaho and then a memorial service in Austin at a later date (see below).

Carl and fellow AGE Computer Lab instructor Les Carlton were on a photography trip to Yellowstone National Park when they were involved in a severe crash involving a tour bus.  Les suffered multiple lacerations on his arm, multiple internal injuries, collapsed lung, lost a tremendous amount of blood, and is in critical condition with life threatening  injuries. Both were airlifted to the Eastern Idaho Trauma Center, in Idaho Falls, where Carl died from his injuries.  Les is still in intensive care.

Carl was instrumental in educating and connecting seniors through the AGE Computer Lab for almost two decades, and AGE honored him with the AGE Community Service Award at the 2009 AGE Awards for his considerable donation of time, energy, and good will to the Austin community. Â He photographed Lady Bird Johnson for her annual Christmas card, as he was a brilliant photographer, and he volunteered at the Wildflower Center for many years.

Carl retired from IBM, where he was a systems engineer for more than 30 years, and devoted his life to volunteering throughout the community. He joined the SeniorNet team (now the AGE Computer Lab) shortly after the group was created in January 1998. Carl was the main architect in moving the lab from a very basic set-up – of 6 stand-alone computers and a single telephone line for internet access  to the current state-of-the-art laboratory facility today with 14 computers networked and operating under server control.

He dedicated countless hours to keep the AGE Computer Lab running efficiently, spending many weekends updating and repairing the systems so that they would be ready for classes on Monday morning.  He developed many courses for the Lab, team coached, and instructed classes.  He was a master photographer, an avid traveler, and a scuba diver.

In addition to volunteering the AGE, he also dedicated many thousands of hours at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, serving as both a photographer and gardener since 1995.  One of his long term photograph efforts involved taking panoramic, periodic photos of the various segments of the Wildflower Center, which were catalogued for future analysis.  This long-term strategic goal matches the plants’ growth history against the climate growth parameters of rain, temperature, sunlight, fertilizers, etc.

Carl also volunteered with The Settlement House, the UT Computer Club, and UT Quest and Sage Groups.  His expertise, enthusiasm, and kindness will be sorely missed.

The memorial service will be held Monday, Aug 15, 1:00PM at the Ladybird Wildflower Center, 4801 La Crosse Ave, Austin, TX 78739 (map)

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