Mr. Anton W Ringl
Cadet Company: G1
Date of Birth: September 30, 1943
Date of Death: December 3, 2012 - View or Post a Eulogy
Died in La Habra Heights, CA
Interred: Mount Auburn Cemetery, Stickney, IL
Anton William 'Tony' Ringl Jr. was born to Anton W. Ringl Sr. and Helen C. Ringl on September 30, 1943 in Stickney, IL. Tony was the older of the two Ringl sons.
Tony was always one of the brightest kids in class. In grade school, in addition to being passionate about playing in the band, he always finished his homework during class, leading him to make noise and get into trouble with his teachers. In high school, things changed as he was challenged more by his academics, but his love of music continued to grow. He was first chair in both the band (clarinet) and the orchestra (bassoon). While not the most gifted athlete, he lettered in soccer long before it was fashionable to play the game.
During his junior year at Morton East High School, Tony decided that he wanted to go to West Point. His interest in West Point was a shock to his parents, as they never saw him as the type of person who could take orders from others. But, nonetheless, they were proud of him and supported his decision.
Tony received an appointment to the Academy, and on July 5, 1961 he and 846 other new cadets reported to West Point to form the Class of 1965.
Tony's West Point experience would be brief. During second semester of plebe year, he decided that the military was not a good match, and he departed in April 1962. Classmate Rick Bunn recalls the days leading up to Tony's departure:
"Tony was a unique individual with unusual energy and an amazing dedication to the Academy and its mission. I do not recall the details of his decision to return home, but I do know it was very painful for him. He spent a few days in transient quarters prior to his departure, and I was able to visit him there before he left. He was very sad, but in a strange way I think he knew it was best for all concerned. He told me on my last visit with him that if I ever got discouraged, I should remember that for at least the four years at school and probably much beyond he would be setting his clock to get him up at the same time his classmates got up and he would always have his shoes shined just as we would."
Two months later, in June 1962, Tony was involved in a horrific automobile accident that left him with major brain damage.
The ensuing years were highlighted by Tony's marriage to Virginia and the birth of their son Raymond.
During this time, Tony's love for the Academy did not diminish. He attended 65's 20th Class Reunion, and classmate Step Tyner remembers his encounter with Tony:
"At our 20th Reunion, Tony Ringl and I established that we knew each other from Beast Barracks, July--August 1961. Though it had been 20 years and Tony had not graduated with the class, I nonetheless felt a bond that mere geographical proximity could neither explain nor take credit for. What remains firmly embedded in my memory is that Tony conducted himself as one fully and firmly ensconced in the DNA of the Class of 1965 and seemed to harbor only positive memories of his experience and his classmates. The news of his passing affects me as fully as if we had been four-year companymates; "...therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls...," it tolls for one of us. I look forward to some pleasant times with Tony when I check in at Fiddler's Green. Our class has embraced the attitude that a classmate once is a classmate forever, and I know that to be the case with Tony Ringl."
Classmate John Madia sums up Tony's experience at the Academy:
"Though it is more than 50 years since Tony and I were roommates during the second semester of plebe year, I remember with exact clarity the sadness I felt when I learned that Tony had departed the Academy. I feel that sadness even now because the Academy has lost one of the toughest young men I was ever to know in my 26 years in the military. We also lost one of smartest people in the class. Tony could carry the conversation on any subject we chose to discuss. He knew the menu at every evening meal, the music for every parade, and the Plebe Bible from cover to cover--all things I never mastered. Most of us had little enough time to read the daily newspaper to get a minimal knowledge of current events, but Tony could be found reading the Wall Street Journal. Tony Ringl was not able to become a leader at the Academy or in the U.S. Army, but in the short time he was with us, he embodied every quality our American citizens attribute to the noblest graduates of West Point."
Tony passed on December 3, 2012 in La Habra Heights, CA and is survived by his son, Raymond, and his brother, Russell. Tony touched the hearts of everyone who met him; he is missed very much by all who knew him and no more so than by Raymond.
Tony, you are saluted with the following words from our Alma Mater:
May it be said, "Well Done; Be Thou at Peace."
-- Family and classmate Tom Kovach