Paul Milton Swindall, 84, passed away February 13, 2013 in Melbourne Beach following a long illness. He was born August 6, 1928, in Talladega, AL. After graduating from high school in Sylacauga, he attended Auburn University, where he earned his BSEE degree and was a member of ETA-Kappa-Nu and AIEE. After recieving an engineering degree from Auburn in 1954, Paul joined the US Army
Ballistic Missile Agency as an engineer in the group responsible for radio frequency communications for the early US Army rockets such as Redstone, Jupiter, and Juno. Under the leadership of Dr. Wernher von Braun, this group also developed the RF communication equipment for the first US orbiting satellite, Explorer I.
was formed in 1958, Paul was one of several who moved with Dr. von Braun to form NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. In the early 1960's, he was named Chief of Antenna Section of the Communications and Tracking Branch. In this capacity, he was responsible for the operation of the MSFC antenna range and supervision of Antenna Section personnel. Paul was involved in the design, development, and testing of radio frequency systems for the Saturn I and Saturn 5 launch vehicles. He was MSFC responsible engineer for the command and telemetry antenna, R.F switching and multiplexing equipment for Skylab. He was also responsible engineer for design and development of Antenna Systems for the Space Shuttle range safety system and the Solid Rocket Booster ocean recovery system.
After retirement from NASA in 1982, Paul joined USBI, the Shuttle launch support contractor at Kennedy Space Center, where he worked until 1985.
In 1988, he moved to Melbourne Beach, FL and enjoyed spending his retirement years dividing his time between his home there and one in Enterprise, AL. A life-long Presbyterian, Paul was long a member of Faith Presbyterian Church in Huntsville, AL, where he served as an elder, as co-chairman of the Building Committee and president of the Men's Club. Talented musically, Paul played the saxaphone in the Talladega High School Band at the early age of six years. He played the piano and the organ and was an active supporter of Church and Community musical programs. In Florida, he was a member of Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Indialantic and an active member of a garden club, where he received the "golden shovel" award for outstanding work. An avid bicycler, he enjoyed riding long distances on Florida's flat roads.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Ailene and Paul Swindall; two sisters, two brothers, and an infant daughter. He is survived by his beloved wife of 33 years, Eva Meaders Swindall; daughter, Lee England; granddaughter, Sarah Katherine England; step family, lovingly called him "Papa": children, Charles Ray, Carlton Ray, Charlotte, Covin; 8 grandchildren; 5 great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Music Fund, Eastminister Presbyterian Church, 106 N. Riverside Drive, Indialantic, FL, 32903.
There will be a private memorial service in celebration of Paul's life.