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 www.mcinnisandholloway.com. 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, www.sabis.ab.ca.
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.Print This Obituary & Condolences