HAMPTON - Alfred "Al" Meintel, Jr., 77, died April 29, 2014. Born in Wheeling, WV, he had been a Hampton Roads resident since 1958. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1957, Al proudly realized his career ambitions as a civil servant at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Langley Research Center. Al retired from NASA in 1995, having served 34 years as an engineer, Branch Head, and Assistant Division Chief. During his time at NASA, Al was involved in a wide range of guidance and control research challenges - from rendezvous and docking of lunar vehicles for both the Gemini and Apollo programs in the early 1960's to artificial intelligence and human factors for aircraft in the 1990's. His enthusiasm for both spacecraft and aircraft flight innovations was contagious and his work inspired many young engineers, contributing toward the foundation for cutting edge research of today. Beyond his research contributions to NASA, Al actively pursued travel as an outlet for his boundless curiosity and sense of adventure. He derived great enjoyment from researching, planning, and, foremost, carrying through with trips to such diverse places as Alaska, Newfoundland, New England, National parks of the mid-west, and the gulf coast beaches of Florida. Al Meintel is survived by his wife of 17 years, Linda Rowell; first wife, Sara Meintel, daughter Pam Johnson and husband Doug; 9 grandchildren, Samantha, Amanda, Peggy, Krisstel, Katie, Nathan,Tara, John, and Jacob; and 9.5 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his parents Margaret and Alfred Meintel, and his beloved son, John Meintel. All services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to
. Arrangements by W. J. Smith Funeral Home, Newport News.
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W. J. Smith & Son Funeral Home - Newport News
210 Harpersville Road Newport News, VA 23601
Published in Daily Press on May 2, 2014