Desmond Pringle, a gospel singer-songwriter from Charleston, learned of his father’s cancer death just days before performing at a concert in California to promote the need for prevention and early diagnosis in the battle against the disease.
His father, 66-year-old Lavern Pringle of North Charleston, had recently been diagnosed with colon cancer and died just five days before the Oct. 18 event.
Pringle buried his father the day after the concert, which was titled “A Night of Hope and Inspiration.”
“I can’t believe that he would pass with cancer right in the middle of my involvement in this. It makes it all the more pertinent,” Pringle said in a statement.
Pringle, now pastor of a Los Angeles church, hosted the cancer event at West Angeles Church of God in Christ along with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America and faith leaders.
It was the final concert in a three-city concert tour that began in Charleston earlier this year. His father attended the Charleston event, where the last photo of father and son was taken, according to a statement from his publicist.
Pringle was working to promote awareness of the fact that African-Americans have the highest death rate and shortest survival period of any racial or ethnic group in the United States for most cancers, according to the American Cancer Society.
Late detection is a major factor.
Lavern Pringle was a retired telephone company worker and chairman of his church’s deacon board.
He served as bishop of New Life in Christ Church of St. Helena’s Island, where Desmond Pringle’s mother, Cynthia Pringle, serves as senior pastor and teacher, said Pringle’s spokesman, Ivan Thomas.
“He was a real man of the people,” Pringle said in a statement. “But he did not take care of himself. He was so busy taking care of other people.”