Robert D. Rector, a retired telephone company executive, World War II veteran and community volunteer, died Wednesday at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium of complications from a stroke. The Towson resident was 83.
A Baltimore native, Mr. Rector was a 1936 graduate of Loyola High School and a 1940 graduate of Loyola College, where he was named a first-team All-Maryland baseball player in 1939.
He began work as a lineman for what was then C&P; Telephone Co. in 1940, but interrupted his work to serve in the Army Signal Corps during World War II, laying communications lines for the military.
For his service, Mr. Rector, a captain when he left the service, was awarded the Bronze Star.
Mr. Rector spent the next four decades with C&P;, working his way up to general manager by the time of his 1980 retirement.
All the while, his family said, he volunteered his time in the community, running fund-raising campaigns for the United Negro College Fund and the United Way of Central Maryland during the 1970s and writing the bylaws for his parish, Immaculate Conception Church in Towson, in the 1960s.
After his retirement, Mr. Rector focused his attention on his church, his family and his friends, caring for his elderly aunts and taking friends to and from their medical appointments.
"He kept busy by helping other people, and he had an effect on other people's lives," said son Richard P. Rector of Ellicott City.
Mr. Rector and his wife of 60 years, the former Ann L. Armiger, also enjoyed traveling, particularly to Paris.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held Monday at 10 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church, 200 Ware Ave. in Towson.
In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Rector is survived by two other sons, Robert J. Rector of Parkton and James D. Rector II of Parkville; three daughters, Mary Ann Dougherty of Houston, Mary Jane Sheridan of Lutherville and Mary Ellen Fise of Towson; a brother, Donald L. Rector of Baltimore; a sister, M. Virginia Rector of Baltimore; 17 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. Another daughter, Mary Catherine McManus, died in 1979.