Albert Aloysius Piringer, a native of St Paul, MN, trained as a horticultural plant physiologist and earned his BS (1947) and MS (1948) degrees from the University of Minnesota and his PhD (1953) from the University of Maryland. His BS degree studies were interrupted by WWII and he served with the US Army in Hawaii and in Occupied Japan.
After receiving his PhD he went to work for the United States Department of Agriculture, where, except for a two-year period when he returned to Minnesota as Assistant Professor of Horticulture, he served continually until his retirement in 1986.
In his 32 years with the Dept of Agriculture he started as a plant physiologist with the pioneering Plant Physiology Laboratory in Beltsville, MD where his research was part of the earliest studies in photoperiodism (effect of day-length and light of plant growth). He was the Associate Director of the US National Arboretum in Washington, DC, from 1968-1972. At his retirement he was Chairman of the Horticultural Sciences Institute at Beltsville, MD.
After his retirement he served as President of the Friends of Agricultural Research, Beltsville and volunteered at the US National Arboretum until moving to Berkeley Springs, WV where he served as the town arborist. In recent years, he has spent summers at a home in Deep Creek Lake, MD where his gardening activities have been largely for personal enjoyment.
Albert's wife,Phyllis Wegner Piringer, died in 1982. His companion of 30 years, Maria Spencer, continues to reside at the house in Deep Creek Lake, MD. Albert and Phyllis had five children: John, who predeceased both of them; Bruce (Nancy) of Columbia, Missouri; Margaret Higdon (Ralph) of Edgewater, MD; Peter (Patricia) of Bethesda, MD, and Susan, at home in University Park, MD. He is survived by six grand-children: Emily Piringer Huffaker ( Chad) of Antelope, CA; Kelly Piringer Casillo (Michael) of Annapolis, MD; Christine Piringer Wolf (William Bradley) of Glenelg, MD; Catherine Piringer VanCise (William) of Potomac, MD; Lt Commander Jonathan Higdon (Kimberly) of Honolulu, Hawaii; and Michael Higdon of Arnold, MD. And seven great-grandchildren: Kelsey and Troy Huffaker of Antelope, CA ; Jack and Peter Wolf of Glenelg, MD; Benjamin Albert VanCise of Potomac, MD; Camryn Higdon of Honolulu, HI; and Kyle Casillo of Annapolis, MD.