Obituary: John Patrick “Casey” Rector


John Patrick “Casey” Rector

June 3, 1963 – March 10, 2023 

John Patrick “Casey” Rector now loves us from above after family and friends were able to surround him during his last few days sharing memories, expressing love, honoring his Navy service and praying for peace.

Casey was born June 3, 1963 in Craig, CO. He grew up surrounded by horses and his sisters, a cowboy right next to his Dad. If you ask his dad, Casey destroyed perfectly good haystacks by building forts, roping and riding anything with hair. Casey started school in Basalt, CO and finished his education at Rye, CO, graduating in 1982. Casey’s teachers and friends will not remember him for being a standout scholar but for his sense of humor, never ending pranks, for being the toughest kid in school and a loyal to the end friend to those he liked. It was here that his lifelong friendship with Pat, later Kirk, David and Donnie began. They all learned by living hard in those days, they came to know each other, and the principal’s paddle well. He was also a “star” athlete, as he liked to remind us all, playing football, wrestling and riding rodeo in high school.

Casey enlisted in the US Navy in October 1983. He served on the USS Carl Vinson for four years as the Plane Captain (head mechanic) on an A6 Intruder crew. He reenlisted in 1987 and was assigned to Naval Air Station Whidbey Island where he became a heavy equipment operator. Casey ended his time in the Navy in 1989.

He began what would become over 20 years with Western Forest Products and it is there that he and Christie began their love story. They married on May 18, 2001, forever bonding their family with Casey’s daughter Katie and Christie’s son Zachary and then sons Zane and Kolton, making it complete.  

Casey and Christie built their life in Blaine, establishing a deep community with friends. Casey became Coach Casey to many Blaine youth, always feeling that it was important that kids had fun playing. He also umped baseball games and was known as the joker behind the plate, working to crack batters up. Christie and Casey spent many anniversaries happily on ball fields, celebrating with a concession stand hot dog.  

Later in life Casey also worked at the Pacific Building Center, Westside Building Center and drove for Northwest Car and Limousine, where he made lasting friendships. It was at Pacific Building Center where he would be kindly referred to as “Omaha.”  

In 2017, Casey suffered a stroke. With Christie and his children by his side, he truly showed us all what true strength, determination (mixed with a little stubbornness and a few f-words) and deep love can accomplish. As he always had, he continued to make us laugh with jokes and pranks. And he certainly knew how to greet us, sometimes with his bright smile, other times with that mischievous look, other times with just the best hug.  

Everyone who knew Casey knew that he had many passions, interests and collections. The list is long but we all know it starts with the Broncos and the Navy. Just a few others include a good History Channel show, rocks, hunting and woodworking. And who can forget his coffee cups, almost as important as the actual coffee.  

Casey loved being with family. He cherished the role of “PaPa” to his grandchildren and always looked forward the next time he could go home to Colorado to visit his family. It was a special event last year when he was able to take his wife, children and grandchildren to Colorado, where they, all along with his sisters, were able to celebrate his dad’s 80th birthday.

Casey will always be a beloved husband, father, son, brother, grandpa, uncle, friend and coach.   

Casey is survived by his wife of 21 years Christie, of Blaine; his children Katie of Burlington, Zachary (Farrah) Rector, Zane Rector and Kolton Rector of Blaine; grandchildren Maxx, Kamden, Londyn; father John and stepmother Judith Rector; sisters Coe Scott, Rabecca Rector and Tina Rector; in-laws Linda, Becky (Eric), Paul and Beth Thompson; many nieces, nephews and a community that loved him. He was preceded in death by his mother Patsy Lou Jones and sister Debbie Kendall.  

A memorial service will be held at the Squalicum Boathouse, 2600 N Harbor Loop Drive, Bellingham, at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 17, 2023 with lunch to follow. We encourage attending in blue jeans and/or favorite St. Patrick’s Day attire.    

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Whatcom Hospice House, 2800 Douglas, Bellingham, WA, 98225.

The Rectors and Thompsons would like to thank Brenda Reid. What started out as a friend taking a caregiver job became a beautiful addition to our family. We now know that she was put in place not to just take care of Casey but to care for all of us. It is thanks to her that Casey was able to remain at home. We will be eternally grateful to you, Brenda.