Walter James “Jim” Rector, 79, of Watsonville, California, beloved husband of Marian Rector for 58 years, passed away unexpectedly on August 3, 2017.
A celebration of his life will be held at 11:00 AM on September 16, 2017 at the Pajaro Village Clubhouse, 739 Bronte Ave., Watsonville, California. His family welcomes all who wish to join them in this memorial.
Jim was predeceased by his mother Margaret Maurer, his stepfather Kenneth Maurer, his father Walter Rector and his sister Marjie Rector-Redmond.
Jim was born in Michigan but moved to California as a child and never left. He attended San Jose State where he majored in electrical engineering and met his wife Marian. Jim worked initially as a machine shop operator while putting Marian through school, then as a draftsman for Lockheed.
Jim developed an interest in real estate and joined his father, Walter Rector, at “Rector Realty” in Santa Clara County then formed his own real estate agency “Action Realty”. In 1975 Jim and his family moved to Watsonville where he continued to work in real estate while mastering his construction skills. After obtaining his contractor’s license in 1980 Jim founded Cypress Construction Company and had a successful career as a building contractor in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties through 2016. Jim discovered a special love for, and talent in, the restoration of historic homes. He moved and restored three such homes in Watsonville: The Rodgers House, The Palmtag House, and the Nugent House.
Throughout his life Jim had an innate curiosity about, and appreciation for, the world, arts and people. He was an avid reader, nature lover, traveler, and a supporter of music and theatre including the Cabrillo Music Festival, Santa Cruz Symphony, and ACT in San Francisco. Jim was also a talented photographer, never without a camera, and an ardent collector of curios. He had a special place in his heart for the City of Watsonville and was active in community and social organizations, including the Pajaro Valley Historical Association and the Watsonville High School Foundation.
Besides his wife, Marian, Jim is survived by his three sons, Chris Rector, David Rector, Kenneth Rector and his wife, Samantha; his four grandchildren, Jonathan Rector and his wife, April, Nikolas Rector, Theos Rector and Zoë Rector; and his two great-grandchildren, Riley and Phoebe. Jim is also survived by his brother, Robert Rector and his wife, Maria, his sister, Elizabeth Raffaelli and her husband, Kevin; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Jim was a loving and devoted son, brother, husband, father, uncle, grandfather, citizen and friend. He was beloved by many for his kindness, generous heart, wisdom and great wit. He is already deeply missed.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made in Jim’s name to the Watsonville High School Foundation, the Pajaro Valley Historical Association, the Santa Cruz Symphony or the Cabrillo Music Festival. Mehl’s Colonial Chapel was entrusted with the arrangements.