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Obituaries > PRINGLE, RICHARD H.

A pioneer Hawaii skydiver died yesterday [October 4, 1965] after falling from a board seven feet above the ground.

Dead is Richard H. Pringle, 43, of 1220 Ulupuni St., Kailua.

He fell at 9:50 a.m. yesterday while working on a cottage being built for a church pastor on Navy property near the Moanalua Shopping Center.

Investigators said Pringle, employed by A-Frame Industries, 1649 Kapiolani Blvd., was on an eight-inch wide plank between joists inside the cottage when he fell.

The plank, which had been nailed to the joists, fell with him. Investigators said there were no witnesses, but that another workman nearby heard the crash.

Pringle suffered no obvious injuries except a superficial abdominal scratch. The City-County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating the cause of death.

As a Marine who came here eight years ago, Pringle reportedly was the first to organize skydiving as a weekend sport on Oahu.

He was parachuting instructor and safety officer of the Kaneohe Marine Sky Divers Club, which was organized in 1959. The club sponsored contests and skydiving exhibitions.

Pringle’s wife, Dorothy Ann, and youngest daughter, Polly, also parachuted.

Mrs. Pringle, who jumped only twice, was the only woman among 15 parachutists in an exhibition Sept. 18, 1961, at Kapaha Quarry. She was the first woman to jump solo in Hawaii.

Polly, 18, jumped only “to see what it was like.” But she made news last April 4 when she was stranded for nine hours on a 150-[foot] high Pali cliff.

Pringle retired with 21 years’ service after his legs healed from fractures suffered when he and another skydiver were blown onto a ridge July 14, 1961.

They were rehearsing for exhibitions that weekend, but wind carried them one-fifth mile from Kawaiuni Swamp. Kailua firemen carried him out. The other man, with a broken ankle, was taken out by helicopter. Pringle jumped only once again after the accident.

Since his retirement, Pringle worked as a carpenter on various construction projects.

Surviving beside his wife and Polly are another daughter, Mrs. Keith (Bridgit) Eickhorn; two sons, Kelly, 13, and Tommy, 10; two brothers, Ted and Roderick Pringle, and mother, Mrs. Carl Luther.

Military funeral services are pending.