Visitation for Anneliese “Ann” Rector will be held from 6:00pm – 8:00pm on Saturday, October 2, 2021, at Laird Funeral Home. Mrs. Rector passed away on Monday, September 27, 2021, in Nacogdoches.
Ann was born in Germany on May 6, 1938. Her childhood, as many German children during World War II, was riddled with uncertainty, fear, pain, and of course, a lot of hard work. When she was five years old, Ann and her six siblings were left terrified as they became separated from their father, who went to fight in the battle. With the help of her children, Ann’s mother found ways to help the family survive. After the war ended and the family was reunited, they moved around Germany numerous times in order to seek work and rebuild their lives. During these troubled times, Ann saw and experienced more than she should have but knew the love of family because that is truly all they had. Ann’s experiences taught her perseverance and resilience, but the most important lessons of all were about love and survival, which she accomplished with both grace and dignity. When she was a young woman, she met an American soldier stationed in Wertheim, Germany, named James MacDonald, and this completely changed her life. She gained her United States citizenship and was gifted her five children. Ann loved them so much and would literally do anything to make sure they were cared for and provided for as she settled in as a wife and mother. Although her first marriage ended and changed her life once again, she met Wayne Rector, who was also an American soldier stationed in Germany. The two married and she was overjoyed with returning to the United States to settle in East Texas where Wayne had deep roots. Despite the fact that she longed for Germany and was afforded the time to go back and visit her family through the years, East Texas became what she knew would be “her place.” While raising her children, Ann worked as a waitress at the Hot Biscuit Restaurant on South Street and as a sales associate at K&B Drugstore, which eventually became Rite Aid. She made many friends and met numerous people because of her wonderful disposition and her positive attitude. Her children were raised with both German and American roots, and as time went on and the children grew up, Ann was overjoyed to watch them prosper. Later in life, her greatest joy was the ability to help love and care for her grandchildren. These were times she was not sure she would ever have, but as it turns out, her greatest accomplishments provided her with her greatest attributes. Ann was selfless, caring, and giving, and she was a great provider and supporter, who loved without boundaries. She enjoyed cooking her favorite German meals, participating in the family’s annual Oktoberfest, and cleaning or “putzing around” as she often called it. She was nurturing, kind, and most of all she was happy. She radiated joy wherever she went and her children put her on the pedestal that she deserved. She was a strong woman; the kind of woman who could accomplish anything she set her mind to, and she did just that. Some of her best times were spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and she proudly grinned any time she heard them calling for their “Mo”, a name she treasured. Ann’s story is a special one. Despite the hard times in her life, she came out better for having suffered through, and she taught her children the meaning of hard work. She will always be remembered and treasured for all that she taught and all that she was.
Ann is survived by her five children, Richard MacDonald of Amarillo, Kelly Williams of Nacogdoches, Sabrina Hale and husband Jeff of Nacogdoches, Rodney MacDonald and wife, Kelli of Longview, and Annie Winstead and husband, Cody of Tyler; grandchildren, Macynn MacDonald, Murphy MacDonald, Blake Tatum and wife, Jennifer, Ian Stevens, Larry Williams II and wife, Jolyn, and Kara Railey and husband, Matthew; great- grandchildren, Micah Williams, Carter Railey, Aiden Railey and the newest “little” on the way, baby Oliver; siblings, Helma Imhof, Holli Fiedel, and Peter Fiedel all of Germany. She is preceded in death by her parents, Wilhelm and Anna Maria Fiedel; husband, Wayne; siblings, Werner Fiedel, Gunter Fiedel and Lydia Holzl.
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