Dr. Rex Richard Mahlman, lifelong learner and professor to countless students, submitted his final earthly assignment and joined the Good Teacher, Jesus Christ, for eternity on July 21, 2021, in Lumberton, Texas at the age of 74. Rex was born on April 1, 1947 in Crawford, Nebraska to the late Earl and Ruth (Calender) Mahlman.
Rex had an impressive athletic career, leading his Crawford Rams to a semi-final berth in the Nebraska state high school basketball tournament as a senior in 1965. After graduating from Crawford High School, Rex played basketball on scholarship at Fairbury Junior College in Fairbury, Nebraska. During his junior college days, Rex learned the value of hard physical labor working for the Endicott brick factory. Upon earning an associate’s degree Rex continued his basketball career at Dana College in Blair, Nebraska where he earned a Bachelor degree in Business Administration.
Upon graduation from college, Rex was drafted into service in the United States Army where he served from 1969-1971. After his military training, Rex served as a finance clerk stationed in Thailand. A highlight of Rex’s military tenure was being named MVP of the All-Thailand basketball team. After his military service, Rex put his G.I. bill to good use returning to school earning a second degree in Business Education and completing his master’s degree at Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska. During this time, Rex met the love of his life, Marcia Kay Schmidt when she visited his hometown with a mutual friend.
Rex and Marcia married on December 29, 1973 in Marcia’s home church in Burlington, Colorado. Rex and Marcia soon moved to Dove Creek, Colorado where Rex worked as a high school business teacher and coached the boys basketball and baseball teams.
In 1977, Rex accepted a position as a business instructor at Northwestern Oklahoma State University where he would serve for the next 25 years eventually being promoted to the position of Dean of the School of Practical Arts and Sciences. Rex was an integral part of the university and the Alva community. Rex was chair of the University Homecoming Committee for more than a decade and also led various professional organizations and committees. Rex received many professional honors throughout his career including twice being named Sheffield Teacher of the Year. He was beloved by colleagues and students alike.
Rex served in various leadership roles for the Alva chapter of Lion’s club and led countless other community service activities. Rex was a committed deacon and Sunday school teacher to the four and five-year olds of the First Baptist Church in Alva. Rex also carried his love of sports well beyond his college days becoming involved in the Noon League basketball group where he and fellow basketball lovers skipped lunch to play every weekday. Rex became known as the commissioner of the informal league which included university faculty, staff, and students. Countless players learned the values of fairness and sportsmanship while playing basketball with “Commissioner Mahlman.” Rex estimated that he shot something near 4,500 shots in the university gym during his time at NWOSU. Rex also loved serving as official scorer for the Northwestern Rangers men’s and women’s basketball teams.
In 2002 Rex and Marcia decided to embark on a new adventure. Rex retired from Northwestern and accepted a position at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri where he served as a Business Education Professor. Rex and Marcia enthusiastically immersed themselves into their new environment, serving in many university and community service activities and organizations. Dr. Mahlman managed to secure his spot at the scorer’s table for the College of the Ozarks basketball teams, founded a C of O Noon League, and joined an intramural basketball team. A highlight of his years at C of O was the opportunity to serve as an official scorer for the NAIA men’s national basketball tournament hosted by the college each year. When Rex retired in 2013 he and Marcia were recognized with the Meritorious Award for Distinguished Service to College of the Ozarks.
In 2017 Rex and Marica moved to Lumberton, Texas to be near their daughters and to allow Rex to play ball with his favorite teammates, his grandchildren. As a professor, coach, and community member, Rex exhibited the exact same characteristics that he did as a husband, father, and grandfather: selfless service, humility, and a deep love for others. Rex was the epitome of integrity; he was the same honest and fair man regardless of his surroundings. His steadfast personality was complemented by an appetite for fun that made him an epic prankster with his friends and family, and an instant playmate to every child who knew him. Consistent with his selfless nature, his primary goal in life was to be a man who reflected Jesus everywhere he went, and a close second was loving his wife with all his heart and ensuring she was cared for even after he was gone. He was his daughters’ biggest champion, a loving example to his sons-in-law, and the best Paps his grands could ask for. His influence cannot be measured and will live on in those he served and mentored.
Rex was preceded in death by his parents Earl and Ruth Mahlman, his mother and father-in-law Arthur and Bertha Schmidt, as well as his brothers: Kent Mahlman, Charles Ned Mahlman, and Jerry Mahlman.
Rex is survived by his beloved wife, Marcia; his daughter Kerri Beard and her husband Christopher from Lumberton, Texas; his daughter Lindy Charles and her husband Joe from Lumberton, Texas; six grandchildren: Nathan Beard and his wife Alanah, Laney Beard, Riley Beard, Joslynn Beard, Elijah Charles, and Lucas Charles. Rex is also survived by his brother Don Mahlman and his wife Connie as well as brothers and sisters-in-law Bob and Monica Schmidt and Gary and Brenda Kotke.
Services will be held at Christ Covenant Church at 6390 N. Major Drive in Beaumont, Texas on August 7 at 10:30 a.m.
Honorary pallbearers are: Don Mahlman, Gary Kotke, Bob Schmidt, Chris Beard, and Joe Charles
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Christ Covenant Church, 6390 N. Major Drive, Beaumont, TX 77713.
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