ST. LOUIS, MO — Western Specialty Contractors announced the passing of former Chief Operating Officer (COO) Jim Rechtin Sr. on Sept. 17 following a battle with cancer.

Rechtin officially retired from Western Specialty Contractors on Jan. 1, 2018, after 46 years of dedicated service to the company. He started working for Western in 1971 as a laborer, and was then promoted to Foreman two years later, then to Superintendent in 1975. In 1977, Rechtin was promoted to Sales/Project Manager, two years later to Department Branch Manager, and to Branch Manager in 1982. In 1992, he was promoted to Region Manager where he served for 14 years before being promoted to Eastern Division Manager where he oversaw 18 branch offices. In 2009, he was promoted to Vice President of Operations, then to Chief Operating Officer in 2014.

All who knew and worked with Rechtin described him as a dedicated business partner, family man and friend whose leadership qualities and expertise helped to grow the company.

Prior to his retirement, Rechtin worked to prepare his successor, Tom Brooks, for the COO position and had plans to continue working with Western's senior management team on a consulting basis during his retirement.

A mass celebrating his life will be held on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 9:30 a.m. at Queen of All Saints Catholic Church in St. Louis County, Missouri. Contributions in Rechtin’s name can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee.