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Ray Rector, a founder of Rector-Hayden Realtors, has died at 84

Ray Rector, a founder of Rector Hayden Realtors, died Thursday. He was 84.
Ray Rector, a founder of Rector Hayden Realtors, died Thursday. He was 84.

Ray Rector, a founder of the Rector-Hayden Realtors firm that markets real estate across Central Kentucky, died at his Lexington home on Thursday following a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 84.

Ray Rector is survived by his wife Linda, sons Keith and Scott, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, according to a statement by his son Keith Rector.

Rector’s career included extensive work with charitable and community organizations included the Lexington Chamber of Commerce, where he was vice president and on the board of directors; chairman of the United Way campaign; president of the UK Alumni Club; and chairman of the administrative board at Southern Hills United Methodist Church.

Rector was born in Berea. His family moved to Lexington when he was 8 years old. He attended Henry Clay High School and the University of Kentucky, where he majored in music, playing the trumpet. He did graduate work at North Texas State College, now the University of North Texas, in Denton, Texas.

“Music played a major role in his life,” Keith Rector said in his statement.

Rector played in the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras and was a student conductor for the group. It was through the orchestras that he met his wife Linda, a string bass player. Ray and Linda Rector were married for 61 years.

“I always tell people I wouldn’t be here if not for the youth orchestra,” Keith Rector said in a phone interview on Friday afternoon.

As Ray and Linda Rector returned to their home on Elsmere Park after their wedding, they found “the whole youth orchestra there on the street waiting to play for them,” Keith Rector said.

Ray Rector was often a “one-man pep band,” his son said, playing his trumpet at UK football’s away games. He also played in the UK alumni band.

Rector worked for IBM from 1957-64 and then began working for Dan Long Real Estate. In 1969, he started his company Ray Rector Realtor. Pat Hayden later became a co-owner of the company. In 1980, the company’s name was changed to Rector Hayden Realtors.

The company expanded to cover Central Kentucky, with more than 430 agents and offices in Lexington, Georgetown, Paris, Nicholasville, Versailles, Winchester and Richmond. Rector Hayden also included specialized relocation, new construction, commercial and auction divisions.

Rector Hayden was sold in 2003 to HomeServices of America, an affiliate of the Berkshire Hathaway company of Omaha. Berkshire Hathaway is a multinational conglomerate holding company owned by Warren Buffett, who is known as one of America’s most successful investors.

Rector was twice named Realtor of the Year by the Lexington Bluegrass Association of Realtors, on his own in 1976 and again in 1999, this time with Pat Hayden.

His mother’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s Disease led Rector to support the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, serving on the center’s Foundation Board as chairman for three years and also chairing the annual dinner committee. Rector was also the founding president of the Lexington/Bluegrass chapter of the Alzheimer’s Disease Association.

A memorial service will be held July 31 at 7 p.m. at Southland Christian Church at 5001 Harrodsburg Road in Jessamine County. Contributions are suggested to the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging or the Kentucky chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association.