|Birth: ||Oct. 12, 1932|
|Death: ||Apr. 19, 2011|
Beloved husband of Bobbie "Darlene" McKenzie.
Jack was the son of John and Stella (Gresham) McKenzie. He had two sisters, Rosie and Elsie, and one brother Johnny.
Jack had five children: Debbie (husband Wayne) McKenzie Ertle, Sandy McKenzie Baxley, Alicia (husband Bobby) McKenzie Green, Keno (wife Tiffany) McKenzie and Marilyn Margaret "Sissy" McKenzie Graham. He also had four step-children whom he loved like his own: Crystal (husband Shawn) Gregg Phillips, Earl "Phillip" (wife Renee) Gregg Jr., Joey (companion Amanda Roseberry) Gregg and Melissa (husband Mike) Williams Bromwell.
Instead of a bio, here is Jack's eulogy written by some of his kids. It says so much.
Writing a eulogy for Jack was harder than we imagined. There are so many memories and thoughts, but it isn't so easy to get them all down on paper and make sense. Then I realized that all of the memories had something in common and that was that Jack never ceased to amaze.
No one could ignore the fact that sometimes he amazed us in less than pleasant ways. Years ago he could lose his temper and you for darn sure did not want to be the reason why or a witness to it.
But most of the time Jack amazed us all with who he was and what he could do.
Maybe you were amazed by what he did with his own two hands. He could build anything out of wood and loved to pour concrete. At 72 years old he rebuilt a 56 Ford truck by himself, transforming a heap of metal rubbish that used to be our little playhouse into a cherry red antique truck. And he could throw a horseshoe ringer or sink a golf ball with ease and could still win at a game of 21 even though he didn't jump. He thought that was a foul.
Maybe you were amazed by his physical fitness. How he could still carry hod and lay brick in his late 70s, mow his own yard, golf and pitch those horse shoes with his buddies and walk and bicycle daily for exercise and pleasure. Jack was actually planning to work hod carrying the day he passed away, even though he had retired from Marsh truck driving 15 years earlier.
Maybe you were amazed by at age 78 he decided to pierce his ear and open a Facebook account or how tender he would hold a grandchild or how much he doted on his dogs. He would sit contentedly holding a baby in his arms in his recliner for long periods of time. And in that same recliner hand feed his dog Baby, KC, Cassie, Muffin, Sweetie or Princess whatever the dog's name was that week, some of whatever he was eating. Maybe you have even watched him prepare his other dog Molly's nightly feast of Science Diet topped with 2 ½ pieces of bologna for her. Of course the other half was always for Baby. Maybe you were amazed at how fast Christmas could end when he'd had enough of the fussing.
I hope you all were amazed when at some point you realized that this man with such a short fuse was really just a man who loved his wife, children, grandchildren, family and friends and just didn't always know how to tell them but definitely tried his best to show them.
And we are probably all equally amazed that the man who seemed to us like Superman, capable of outliving all of us, could somehow slip away from us all so quickly and quietly one night.
What could be the most amazing of all is how Jack came to find his grace during the last ten-fifteen years of his life. Who knows really what changed so much for him, but he clearly stopped worrying about things he could not change and he embraced his family and friends for who they were regardless of our faults. He learned how to have a cherished friendship with his wife in addition to being her husband. He found humor in his life every single day. He always had jokes and stories to share making you laugh, giving you wisdom and letting you know he cared. And the fine art of teasing people, well he perfected that too and anyone was fair game to get playfully teased.
He did what most of us still have not, and that is he learned to love his life and cherish all of the people in it just as it was and they were. Those were the simple things: laying brick with his boys, lunch with his buddies, an afternoon on a golf course, riding his bike in a circle in the driveway, hugs from the grandchildren, hearing them proudly say "you're my grandpa" and even climbing in a photo booth at the mall with a granddaughter for an impromptu photo shoot. He was making wonderful memories with us all.
You'd be hard pressed to convince me that Jack "Action Jackson" McKenzie never amazed you. I wouldn't believe it. He tried his hardest to be who he thought he needed to be for all of us. He's helped every single one of us when he's been able to and known we needed him.
Jack did have a hard time letting go of his emotions. But he definitely tried to show us all by his actions.
John E. McKenzie (1895 - 1969)
Stella Gresham McKenzie (1899 - 1981)
Bobbie "Darlene" McKenzie (1953 - 2012)*
Gardens of Memory
Maintained by: Crystal
Originally Created by: Jane
Record added: Apr 21, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 68703422