John Marcus Rector

[this obituary has also been printed in the Reno Gazette-Journal, on Friday, November 11th, 2022]

John Marcus Rector died peacefully in his home in Reno on Sunday, November 6th; he was 84. He is survived by his wife Carol of 62 years, brother Tom, sister Amy, sons Eric and Brian and their families. He was generally known as “Marcus” or “Marc” to his friends and colleagues.

Born on his grandparents’ farm in Logan, OH, Marc was the first son of Martha and Wendell Rector. He grew up in Columbus, attended West High School, and then Ohio State University on a Navy ROTC scholarship. He served on the USS Tulare and USS Henley as a communications officer. Upon leaving the US Navy he pursued his professional career as an architect in Roanoke, VA, Cambridge, MA, and Jerusalem, Israel.

His seminal work was as project architect for Faneuil Hall Marketplace (FHM) in downtown Boston for Benjamin Thompson and Associates (BTA). This was one of the first, and one of the most influential, of many “festival marketplaces” that revitalized urban centers around the US, and then around the world. In 2009 FHM won the American Institute of Architecture 25 Year Award for “buildings that set a precedent.”

Marc worked on other similar projects — South Street Seaport in New York, Harborplace in Baltimore, and the San Antonio River Walk — before beginning work on the Ordway Theater for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, MN, his last project at BTA.

In 1987 architect Moshe Safdie asked Marc to help move forward a massive project in Jerusalem, Israel called “Mamilla.” He then split time between the Boston area and Jerusalem until the project was put on hold during first Gulf War in 1991.

In 1992 Marc and Carol moved to San Francisco, and Marc opened and operated the Builders Booksource store in Ghiradelli Square. He was also an enthusiastic volunteer for the San Francisco International Film Festival, Foodwise, and Slow Food. Besides his architectural work he was a passionate foodie who wrote a cookbook for friends and family at age 50, then published a food blog — eatsforone.com — from age 65 until recently. He loved to dance and to sing karaoke at the drop of a hat.

In 2012 they retired to the Sierra Canyon planned community in Reno, NV where Marc participated in the architectural review committee as well as neighborhood classes and numerous social events. He loved his family, Ohio State, Boston, San Francisco, Reno, and the many friends he met along the way. Marc simply loved life.

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