William K. Rector, Jr., 83, died on Friday morning, July 13, 2018.
Bill was born to the late William “Kenna” Rector, Sr. and Dorothy McCoy Rector, on June 21, 1935, in Ravenswood, West Virginia. He spent his childhood in Ravenswood where he excelled in academics as well as athletics. He attended the University of Virginia on a full scholarship, where he earned both Bachelors and Masters Degrees. He continued his football career as quarterback for the Cavaliers and was a cadet in the Air Force ROTC program. Upon graduation in 1957, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force and on June 12, 1957, he married his sweetheart, Beverly Joy Snyder.
Over the following 26 years, he served in world wide assignments in Strategic Air Command, Pacific Air Forces, Air Training Command, and Air University. He completed three overseas tours at Ernest Harmon AFB, Newfoundland, Canada; Tan Son Nhut AB, Republic of Vietnam, and Clark Air Base, Philippines. Colonel Rector retired from active duty in August, 1984, after receiving numerous military awards, including the Bronze Star medal. During his service, he earned another Masters and a Doctoral Degree in Education from Auburn University in Alabama.
Upon retirement from the Air Force, Bill started a second career with Wackenhut Security and eventually fully retired from the workforce in 2000 from Omniplex in Virginia. Bill and Bev then moved to Leesburg, Florida, to enjoy the sunshine and sunsets. They later moved to San Antonio, Texas, for a few years before eventually settling at Traditions in Port St. Lucie, Florida, in 2016.
Bill dearly loved his wife and family. He is survived by Beverly, his wife of 61 years; daughters - Kim, Tracy and Paige; their husbands – Dan Powers, Joe Fazzone and Patrick Dugan; grandchildren – Colin Lightfoot, Tony, Alex, and Claire Fazzone, Kevin and Michael Dugan; great-grandchildren – Adrian Fazzone and Reilynn Lightfoot; sisters – Connie Ritchie and Nancy Short; brother-in-law, Allen Short; and five nephews and one niece and their families.
His passions were lifelong learning, reading, sports, travelling, reminiscing and sunsets. He served his community, his country, and his God. He volunteered as a mentor for Mended Hearts in Leesburg where he helped patients recovering from heart surgery. Organizing class reunions and ceremonies for veterans also kept him active. Bill and Bev were members of the United Methodist Church. He was a man of integrity with a sense of humor and was respected by those who knew him. He will be honored in a pending induction into Ravenswood Football Hall of Fame.
A memorial service will be held July 21, 2018, 11:00 AM, at Aycock at Tradition, Life Celebration Center, 12571 Tradition Parkway, Port St. Lucie, Florida 34987. His ashes will be interred at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations may be made in memory of William K. Rector, Jr. to the American Heart Association or to: JCCF “We Care Fund” 108 North Church Street, Ripley, WV 25271. “We Care” has been established in response to the recent school shootings across the nation as a means to support the improvement of school security in Ravenswood and Jackson County, a fitting tribute to Bill since education, security, and Ravenswood are all dear to his heart.