October 2 – Happy Birthday Rex Maltbie

rexmaltbiephoto222Back in 1979, I was working for Noteworthy here in Amsterdam and had served as coordinator for a day-long celebration of that company’s 25th Anniversary. The event culminated with a huge banquet at the Auriesville Shrine Cafeteria which was attended by scores of local dignitaries including Rex Maltbie. I had served as the Master of Ceremonies at the banquet and at the end of the evening I remember being exhausted and loosening my tie when all of a sudden today’s Birthday Celebrant approached me, extended his hand and said “I’ve been watching you all day. You tell Tom (Noteworthy owner Tom Constantino) that Rex Maltbie said he better take good care of you or I’m going to steal you away from him!” I never told Tom what he said. I also never went to work for Mr. Maltbie. But at that point in my young career, his kind words gave me a much needed boost of confidence.

Today’s Birthday Celebrant was born in Conneaut, Ohio on October 2, 1915. He attended the Detroit Institute of Technology, where he earned an accounting degree. He came to Amsterdam in 1951 when he was hired by Mohawk Carpet Mills as part of their management team. A year later, Howard Shuttleworth II took over as chairman of that company and during the next few years, Maltbie became his closest confidante. So in 1957, when Mohawk became Mohasco Corporation, Shuttleworth promoted his protégé to become his assistant and from that point on, Maltbie was pretty much the second most powerful individual in the huge rug-making enterprise. His growing influence inside that company coincided with a growing involvement in the Amsterdam community. He served on the Board of Directors for the Amsterdam Savings Bank, the Amsterdam YMCA and the Montgomery County Community Chest (predecessor to the United Way.) He was also elected to the Board of Education for the old Gray School District that used to operate the schools in the Town of Florida. He was then asked to head the merger study effort that ended up recommending the Gray District merge with the Amsterdam School District. Though Maltbie never got involved in politics his wife was selected to serve as Vice-Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party.

When Mohasco moved its corporate headquarters to Georgia in the early 1980’s, Maltbie went south with the company. He died there in 1984 at the age of 69.

Maltbie shares his October 2 birthday with one of the old Amsterdam Rugmaker ballplayers who made it to the big time in a big way!

 

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