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Richard Wayne McKenzie (1946-2021)

Richard Wayne McKenzie passed away February 26, 2021 in Bullhead City, Arizona. Known to have one of the world’s largest hearts, it unfortunately gave out on him after years of faithful service.

Wayne was born on April 30, 1946 in Dundee, Scotland. He moved to Amhurstberg in Ontario, Canada at the age of 1, though he had little say in the move to his father’s hometown, being an infant and all. At 9 years old, he moved to Flint, Michigan where he eventually attended and graduated from Beecher High School. His love of sports, particularly baseball, began here. He met the love of his life, Mary Patterson here as well, though they would not begin dating until after graduation of high school. Wayne attended Central Michigan University and was a member of Sigma Tau Gamma. Mary and Wayne married in 1968 and he graduated in 1969 with a bachelors degree in education. Life came full circle when he accepted a position and taught industrial arts, gym, math and science in the Beecher School District until retirement in 1996.

He enjoyed many things in life. Fast pitch softball was a love where he was league batting champ and his Mitchell team won state championship and went to nationals one year. Pokey, as he was nicknamed, was always a solid contributor and could be counted on for a clutch hit.

He was an avid hunter and fisherman, though the deer and fish never really needed to fear his presence in the woods or waters. But he loved the chase.

They moved to New Lothrop, MI in 1972 and raised three children. He was the biggest cheerleader for each of his children in any endeavor. He also became an advocate for the small town community and could always be found in the stands cheering on whichever sports team was playing or even calling the games. He was also very good at making sure the refs made the right call. Somebody had to and he would often vocally volunteer for that job.

He would strike up a conversation with anyone. He was quick with a joke. There wasn’t a dad joke that he would not tell. Sarcasm was an artform that he spent many years perfecting. He made people smile and laugh. Often.

As the years grew longer, he loved spending time with his growing family. Wayne and Mary often visited their daughter, Nikki and son, Ryan in the Bullhead City/Laughlin area. Each year, their time in Nevada/Arizona grew longer until they made the permanent move in the summer of 2019. He enjoyed his grandchildren’s sports and spending time in the desert off roading with his son and family. The casinos loved his visits.

He was preceded in death by his father, Neil McKenzie, his mother, Ennis McKenzie, and step father, Ken Shaw. He is survived by his wife Mary, sisters Kym (and Ted, McKenzie & Alec) Stepovich and Candace (and Danny) Herring, children Shane (and Laura, Brett, Avarie & Caity) McKenzie, Nikki (and Toby, Alex, Cayla & Ben) Cotter, and Ryan (and Sunny, Tricia, Shawn, Dylan, Daniel & Sue) McKenzie and Bill & Linda Patterson (and many nieces and nephews) and many other family and friends.

He touched many lives and will be missed and remembered fondly by those that knew him. Even the umpires he had differing opinions with, knew deep down that he probably had a point.

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