McInnis & Holloway
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McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
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November 14, 1935 – Edmonton, AB
December 29, 2013 – Calgary, AB

Neil McKenzie, beloved husband of Shirley of Calgary, passed away on December 29, 2013 at the age of 78 years.

Neil died peacefully at home. He is survived by his wife of 54 years Shirley; his daughter Karen and her husband Richard Binder and their children Ethan and Alyssa; and his son Douglas and his wife Theresa and their children Teagan and Fiona. He is also survived by numerous nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his sister Cecilia Cox in 2004.

Neil was a strong man who would not let things hold him down. . He made friends wherever he went. He always had a smile and a “How are ya?” for everyone. He treated everyone as a royal guest and a best friend.

One Stampede Neil and Shirley were having coffee at the Brentwood Harvey’s. A gentleman walked in to order some food and cause a bit of a commotion. The man shook everyone’s hand and when he got to Neil, Neil asked who he was. And the man replied…Stephen Harper.

Neil had a love of the outdoors. Prior to illness that marked the later years of his life he loved to cross country ski and be in nature. He would take great joy from the feeling of the sun on his face or seeing a deer.

He loved to go for rides in the country and the quietness of nature. He loved a good cup of coffee at the end of a ride or anything really. On the cross country ski trips Neil was always the first one to the lunch site to get the coffee on. Neil was known for his need to tease everyone. There was often a twinkle and a wink and you knew that you were being teased. You knew you were loved when you had the twinkle. Neil also loved a good joke. They were not always the best jokes but he loved to tell them anyway.

He met the love of his life, Shirley, in 1957 and they were married in 1959. Neil loved to be wherever Shirley was. That was the place he wanted to be. Neil loved to travel. From the beaches of Hawaii to the bazaars of Turkey, you never knew who he would meet and what adventure he would find. When in Turkey Shirley left him in the safe keeping of the cruise ship bus driver. Little did she know that Neil would end up on a bus tour of Istanbul and meet all of the bus driver’s relatives. He also end up drinking Turkish coffee in a number of cafes.

Neil loved his children. Whether coaching Douglas’ hockey teams, flooding ice for the local rink for Karen to figure skate, he did it all with his children in mind. He loved to camp at the beach in British Columbia or in the woods of Mt. Robinson. He was happiest with his kids and Shirley. Even though we have been known to drive him crazy on occasion.

Neil took great joy from his grandchildren.

Neil loved hockey of all levels, from Minor hockey to the Calgary Flames. He was a hockey nut. In his early years in Edmonton on the outdoor rinks with his pals, Billy and Murray, he loved the game. He played hockey in the Commercial League in Calgary for Canadian Western Natural Gas and was a fierce competitor. As a long time ticket holder for the Flames he loved the game and always wanted to be there in the stands.

He worked for Canadian Western Natural Gas for 45 years before retiring in 2000. While with “The Gas Company” he made many friends. He worked on the crews and eventually supervised the Whitehorn Area.

In 1991 Neil was hit with the first of many challenges to this health. He bore these challenges with strength, grace and dignity. Even though the later years of his life were marked by many trials with his health, he was always optimistic.

Neil was a devoted member of St. Barnabus Anglican Church at 1407 7 Avenue N.W. and that is where we will say our final good byes.

There are so many people to thank for their kindness and support over the years. We know who you are and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the love, support, compassion and laughter that you brought to Neil’s life.

He was a great man….he was our father…our husband and our friend. He is loved and missed.

Bye Daddy. We love you.

Those wishing to pay their respects may do so at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Park Memorial Chapel (5008 Elbow Drive S.W. Calgary, AB) on Friday, January 3, 2014 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

Funeral Services will be held at St. Barnabas’ Anglican Church (1407 – 7th Avenue N.W.) on Saturday January 4, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Southern Alberta Brain Injury Society, #137, 2723 – 37 Avenue N.E., Calgary, AB T1Y 5R8 Telephone: (403) 521 – 5212,

In living memory of Neil McKenzie, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Patty Redman/Mazurek and family :

    I was so sad to hear of Uncle Neil’s death. Although I regretfully can’t be with you all to pay tribute to him, I always will have the fond memory of him warmly greeting me with a “How are ya Patty-Jo?” and giving me a big bear hug. I was often lucky enough to get the twinkle and wink as he teased me, and I will never forget his hearty and contagious laugh. My thoughts and prayers are with you Auntie Shirley, Karen, Doug and your families. This is a sad and difficult time. Find strength in each other and the beautiful memories of the loving man who was a good husband and father. Big hugs to you all.

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  2. Myrna & Rod Gadd :

    Shirley, Karen, Doug and Families:
    Neil was a lifelong friend. We all had many great times together, Gas Company Parties, some camping and just visiting.
    We will all miss Neil, but have so many fond memories of a great guy.
    Myrna & Rod Gadd

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  3. Shirley, Karen, Doug and Families
    Neil was not only my supervisor but a good friend and mentor. I thought I was a good coffee drinker until I met Neil and needless to say we shared numerous coffees together and good conversation over the years. He tagged me with the name “Harvey” that I will always associate with him. Neil was a big part of my initial years with the Gas Company, providing for many fond memories. He exemplified the saying “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. He will be missed.
    Don Sharpe

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  4. The McKenzie Family,
    Unfortunately we are away and I will be unable to attend the service for Neil on Saturday but I wanted you to know our thoughts are with you during this especially difficult time. Neil was truly a special person at the Gas Company and as a young novice engineer, I always appreciated his tutoring and mentoring on the practical side of the business, not to mention his support and friendship over over the years. Our sincerest condolences.
    Doug & Margaret Graham

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  5. Joanne McLeod :

    My sincere condolences to Shirley and family on the sad news of Neil’s passing. I will always remember Neil and Shirley for the friendship that developed over the long volunteer hours spent together in the beginning of the ski jumping planning for the 1988 winter Olympics in Calgary. The long hours led to both Neil and Shirley becoming heavily involved, and they became directors of the Altius Nordic Ski Club, the host club for the ski jumping and nordic combined events of the 1988 winter Olympics.
    Their tireless efforts in meetings, on the hill, or in volunteering to raise funds through bingo, or casino events, were greatly appreciated both then and now. The tinkle in Neil’s eyes was frequent, and a pleasure to watch, as you knew he was up to something, and made many a boring bingo night much more enjoyable.
    As with too many things in life, we lost touch several years after the Olympics, but I often thought about Neil and Shirley. I drove past his old office for CWNG last week, and again wondered how he was doing, and was saddened today when I saw the news in the paper. To Shirley and his family, my thoughts are with you at this difficult time, he will be remembered as one of the good guys.

    Joanne McLeod

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  6. Dennis L Modry :

    Hi Shirley and Family,
    Shirley, it has been many years since I last saw you and Neil, but I reflect fondly of the times that we had together with Joan and Ray, and especially going to the ballpark when Neil was playing. Please accept my condolences and those from mother Marie and Shannon. I wish you and the family all all the best going forward, as difficult as that must seem now.
    Your ‘nephew’,
    Den Modry

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  7. Joan,Kent,Michael and Mitchell Dahl :

    Shirley, Karen, Doug and Families,

    From our family to yours, we wanted to express our sincere condolences on the passing of Neil.

    So many memories of our lives in Calgary share fond memories of Neil. His laugh,smile,jokes and tremendous attitude were an inspiration to all of us. He and your family were great neighbors and friends. Gunner loved to hear the latest joke and the boys looked up to Mr McKenzie.

    You are in our thoughts , our prayers and again we are deeply sorry for your loss.

    Joan and the Boys.

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  8. Shirley, Karen, Doug and families:

    Neil will always be our special friend, and we will forever cherish
    the memories of the great times we shared (parties, holidays with
    our families, Cliff working with Neil those many years at CWNG.

    Cliff, Bev, Cheryl, Chris & Janice

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  9. My condolences to the family of someone I have known for so long, your loss is deeply felt and my sympathy is extended to you. God Bless

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  10. John Tyers would like to send his condolences as he was at CC3 with Neil Mackenzie.

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  11. Pam (PJ) Katunar :

    Shirley, Karen, Doug and families:

    My condolences to all of you from Victoria, BC. Neil was a wonderful supervisor, protector, mentor and friend to me for many years at the Gas Company. He was always looking out for me and taught me many things about office politics! He had a crazy sense of humor too! Neil, Jack MacDonald and I had many great times working out of the Whitehorn office! I am sorry he/you had to deal with so many health challenges over the years. He will be missed – so sorry I couldn’t have been there for his service! God Bless!

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