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Laurence Rector
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Obituary for Laurence J. "Sparky" Rector

In Loving Memory
Laurence J. "Sparky" Rector
October 13, 2023

Laurence J. "Sparky" Rector 100 years old of Mexico, NY died October 13, 2023. Born in Syracuse he lived in the Mexico area since 1930, residing most of that time in the Village of Mexico. He was a 1942 graduate of Mexico Academy and Central School. He served in the Army during the Second World War, European theater, and he is a Purple Heart Veteran. After returning home from the war, he earned his Bachelor's Degree from Ithaca College and certification in Athletic Administration from Cortland State University. He served as teacher, coach, and Director of Physical Education and Athletics for Leland and Gray Seminaryin Vermont, Adams Center Central School and Mexico Academy and Central School, retiring in 1985 after 38 years. Sparky was a member of the New York State and National Athletic Directors Associations as well as a charter member of the Watertown and Syracuse Wrestling Associations. Active in high school and college officiating, he was a member of Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Officials Association. He was active in Section Ill and served on several committees, including several terms as Chairman of the track and wrestling committees.

Sparky received many honors in his long career among them: inductions into Section Ill, the New York State and the National Wrestling Halls of Fame and Mexico Alumni Hall of Fame. Rector Field at the Mexico Community Park, Rector Wrestling Room and the Rector Drop in Center at the annual State Athletic Conference were named in his honor. This past August he was presented the Hometown Hero Award at the New York State Fair by Lockhead Martin.

Sparky was an avid golfer and played his last round of golf in June. He enjoyed working out at the YMCA in Oswego. He was a longtime member of the First United Methodist Church of Mexico and served on many committees. He often attended local high school sporting events, encouraging young athletes and their coaches. He enjoyed traveling with his wife and visiting family and friends all over the country. He faithfully attended the National Athletic Director conference until last year. Sparky is well loved and will be remembered for his great spirit, his enthusiasm and the wonderful joy he found in life. His family and friends will miss his presence in the world.

He was predeceased by his wife the former Mary Ellen Redmond in 2011 and one grandson. Surviving are his daughters Maura (Malcom) Bailey, Noreen Patterson, Robin Rector, sons, James (Susan) Rector, Jay (Sarah) Rector, and Jeffrey (Kristin) Rector, seven grandchildren, and five great grandchildren.

Memorial Services will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 3, 2023 from the First United Methodist Church of Mexico, NY, 4372 Church Street, Mexico, NY. A celebration of Sparky's life, with Full Military Honors will be held at 2 p.m. following at the Edick-Hamlink VFW Post #369, 5930 Scenic Avenue, Mexico, NY. Arrangements are in care of Harter Funeral Home, Inc. 9 Washington Avenue, Mexico, NY.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Sparky's memory to the MACS Booster Club, c/o MACS Athletic Department, 16 Fravor Road, Mexico, NY, 13114 or the Mexico First United Methodist Church Youth Fellowship, 4372 Church Street, Mexico, NY 13114.

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Service Information

Friday, November 3, 2023 11:00am
First United Methodist Church of Mexico
4372 Church Street
Mexico, New York 13114

Reception Information

Friday, November 3, 2023 2:00pm
Mexico VFW - Post #369
5930 Scenic Ave
Mexico, New York 13114
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