WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Eric Little, left, unveils the Hall of Fame Portrait of Jean Simpkins with her daughter Laura Jasso.

New members inducted into WSMR Hall of Fame

White Sands Missile Range inducted two new members to their Hall of Fame Sept. 13 during a luncheon at the Army Community Center building.

Jean R. Simpkins, a Realty Specialist, and William A. Rice, Real Time Computer Software Pioneer, were inducted into the WSMR Hall of Fame.

Master of ceremonies Jim Eckles, a Hall of Fame member himself, gave the tribute to Jean Simpkins.

Simpkins worked at WSMR from 1952 until her retirement in 1984. She was recognized for her outstanding work as the missile range’s real estate specialist where she managed the complicated world of land leases, purchases, payments and court damage claims and evacuations.

Simpkins, who passed away earlier this year, was represented by her daughter Laura Jasso.

William A. Rice Jr. gave a tribute to his father.

Rice started work at WSMR in 1960 while finishing his degree in computer science at New Mexico State University. He retired in Las Cruces in 1995. He was inducted for his work perfecting some of the latest cutting-edge technology used to test missile systems at White Sands. Rice initially worked in “real-time” computing. He was known as “Mr. Real-Time.”

WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Eric Little presented each Williams and Jasso with the Hall of Fame medal, a lapel pin and an American flag that was flown over WSMR’s Headquarters Building. The event was co-sponsored by the White Sands Historical Foundation.


WSMR Commander Brig. Gen. Eric Little, left, unveils the Hall of Fame Portrait with William A. Rice.



By Miriam Rodriguez

WSMR Public Affairs