Longtime NISD superintendent, SFA education professor

Malcolm Rector (Source: Laird Funeral Home)
Malcolm Rector (Source: Laird Funeral Home)

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Dr. Malcolm Rector, who served as the Nacogdoches ISD superintendent from 1979-89, died Tuesday. After he retired from NISD, Rector also served as an adjunct professor of advanced education classes at Stephen F. Austin State University.

According an obituary from the Laird Funeral Home in Nacogdoches, Rector was born in Woden on August 26, 1933. A graduate of Beaumont High School, he earned his bachelor's degree in agriculture from Stephen F. Austin State College in 1955.

While Rector was at SFA, he met his wife, LaWanda Bowlin, according to the obituary. Within a few years of their marriage in 1954, they added three sons to their family.

Rector served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1957. While he was in the service, he was stationed at The Presidio in San Francisco, CA.

After Rector returned to Texas, he earned his master's degree in education from SFA. Then over the course of the next 10 years, he worked toward obtaining his PhD through a distance-learning program at Walden University in Naples, Fl. He earned his doctorate in 1973.

"Education was one of Malcolm's life-long passions," the obituary stated. "He began his education career in Little Cypress ISD teaching agriculture. While living in Beaumont, he coached and taught 6th grade, was an assistant junior high principal, and before long, was named principal of Dick Dowling School where he had attended as a boy."

Over the course of the next few years, Rector also served as principal of Stephen F. Austin Jr. High and French High School. During this time, he also spent two summers in Europe as principal for a large group of students with the Foreign Study League.

Rector served as an assistant superintendent with BISD before he became the district's superintendent in 1975. His career path finally took him back to East Texas in 1979, when he was hired as the superintendent of Nacogdoches ISD.

A long-time Rotarian and Republican, Rector served on the SFA Alumni Board for 25 years and refereed basketball games. He and his wife traveled all over the world; they visited China, Peru, Egypt, and most of Europe during their retirement years.

Rector's obituary said he taught Sunday School classes and even preached on occasion. He served as an elder at the Ridgewood Church of Christ in Beaumont and later at the North Street Church of Christ in Nacogdoches.

"Malcolm enjoyed the outdoors and could often be found hunting and fishing with his sons and grandsons on the weekends," the obituary stated.

Visitation will be Friday from 5- 7 p.m. at Laird Funeral Home in Nacogdoches. His service will be held at North Street Church of Christ in Nacogdoches on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 10 a.m. with Bill Sherrill officiating. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Park.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the James and Juanita Bowlin or the Malcolm and LaWanda Rector Educational Scholarships, administered through the Stephen F. Austin State University.

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