• Schaefer-Shipman Funeral Home
    Marysville, WA
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Lynn McKenzie 1949 - 2011

Lynn McKenzie

Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Letter from Louise Morberg to Jon:

Dear Jon,

I hardly know how to express my sorrow to you. I also am sorry that I didn’t give Lynn a call after the wedding. She looked so nice and to think that she could talk to the guests as she did. She definitely was a very gifted caring person. That poor girl must have suffered more than I realized. God Bless you for being such a supportive husband. I’m sure you suffered as well as you saw your loved one endure as she did.

I did know she was a special teacher from my conversations on the phone with her.

I’m also sorry that I couldn’t have been more helpful with suggestions for her cancer.

What a kind soul she was as she told me how she helped her younger brother, Richard, in his last days. The Lord gave her a special compassion for him all the while she was having her own problems.

I know you both will have many stars in your crown from the Lord. These past months have been especially hard on your whole family, seeing her slip away.

We enjoyed the service but both Carl & I ad a hard time hearing the tributes to Lynn. Would it be possible when you have time to E-Mail your tribute, Michelle’s & Jo’s – I want my daughter to hear and read them as she couldn’t come in the evening with her family. She really liked Lynn and we did see her at the Co-op when she was demonstrating. We’ll miss her but she is no longer suffering which is a blessing. I’m sending you the clipping from the Bremerton Sun made years ago about her mom. She was like a mentor to me – my mom & auntie Ester met before either of them were married so there are many memories I have about Lynn’s family.

I know now that your grief will be heavy. You do have your Children but the days ahead will be hard.

So glad you are Christians because that is where the comfort comes.

Kudos o you for being a kind loving and caring husband for Lynn and making her marriage a happy and wonderful experience for her. She told me of all the trips you’ve had and that she had done and seen what she wanted to do. God bless you.


Louise Morberg
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Dear Jon,

I tried several times to sit down and write you a letter, but the words were not there. It was not that I was too sad to write. I was absolutely at peace with my thoughts. My only prayer these last few weeks was to see the pain that daunted Lynn’s life end. I was so thankful. When we talked a few weeks ago, Lynn seemed to have come to terms with her illness and the reality that the end of her life was near. At the memorial you enclosed a card to write down a memory but that little card brought a flood, far too many for that little card.

I remember when Lynn and I became friends in High School. How that happened is still a mystery to me, but God was probably involved. We had the same name and we each had a horse named Duke, but that is where our similarities ended. Lynn was the ultimate girl, and me, a tom boy from birth. Our favorite times were long walks and talks at the Seattle Center, and then there was always another stop at the airport to “people watch”.

I remember when we moved in together during Lynn’s first year in college. It was a Bellevue apartment and Lynn and I shared a room. Bad idea, remember, we were opposites. I went to bed at 10:00 PM and Lynn was never in bed before 2:00 AM. I liked the window open and the heat off and Lynn, of course, the heat was on HIGH and the windows closed. I always had to get up at least once in the middle of the night to turn the heat off and then Lynn of course was cold, and she would turn it on again. By morning, I would be exhausted, but Lynn with her 3-4 hours of interrupted sleep, would cheerfully leap out of bed ready to welcome the day.

Sometime after that 1st year, on a Friday afternoon in 1968, on a warm summer day, we were tired of school and we should join the navy. Granted, it was probably my idea, but I know it didn’t take much convincing for Lynn to agree. Downtown Seattle we went, with our new futures all mapped out in our brains. We had an immediate change of plans when the naval recruiter said that the Navy was closed for any new enlistments. Remember, it was 1968, the Vietnam war was raging and everyone threatened with the draft was enlisting in the Navy. He quickly advised us that the Army was hiring and they were right next door. We looked at each other and said “why not” and headed up the street. In the matter of less than an hour, we were Army recruits. The last thing the recruiter said to us as we were heading out the door was “remember you have 72 hours to change your mind”. We laughed and said “No way. We are going to do this!” That was, until we got home and our fathers just about hit the roof. Needless to say, by Monday morning, we had rescinded our applications, and we were civilians again.

I remember 4 of us heading to Europe in 1969. Our plan was to first hitchhike the British Isles. Now Lynn and hitchhiking is like an oxymoron isn’t it? Lynn in her blue London Fog rain coat, her white gloves and that signature scarf in her hair doesn’t describe any hitchhiker I had ever seen before, or ever will again. We never failed to get a ride. It was only midway thru our trip did we realize why. One truck driver told us that he picked us up because he thought we were a couple of his town’s ladies who had missed the bus.

I remember we were in Florence, Italy, walking down a little side street, when we came upon a large group of people surrounding an outdoor TV. It was only when we heard “The Eagle has Landed” did we realize we were about to miss the first moon landing. We ran as fast as we could for the next 2 miles back to the little villa where we were staying, to view that history in the making, with the English broadcasts drowned up by the Italian translations.

I remember the day in Dusseldorf, Germany when Lynn was not feeling well. It was towards the end of our European Vacation and we wanted to see the Neanderthal Man Museum. Our trusted guide book, usually in Lynn’s possession, said the museum was at the beginning of a long hiking trail, about 20 miles out of town. Lynn decided against staying at the Youth Hostel to rest, saying the fresh air would do her good. It was a beautiful day. Little did we know that we walked right past the museum in the woods, and as we walked, Lynn got sicker and sicker. Hikers told us that there was a small restaurant at the end of the trail, and we were almost carrying her at this point. About a mile from the top Lynn could go no further. I ran to the top and was able to convince the owner, in my very limited German, that we needed help. He and his son got her to their restaurant and then put Lynn in the back of their truck and transported her, by a back road, to a brand new county hospital. I think God materialized that hospital just for our benefit. They spoke no English there but somehow the head doctor told us Lynn had appendicitis and needed an immediate operation. We panicked. We were at the end of our trip, in a foreign country. We had very little money. Again God stepped in. We asked the doctor to estimate a cost. It was less than $800.00 and that was for the operation and a 4 day stay. A real deal as far as we were concerned. We pooled our cash, called Lynn’s folks, and the operation went perfectly. Afterwards, Lynn had a great time, so great that I am not sure she wanted to leave. A young intern came in several times a day to visit, and Lynn, forever the teacher, helped him with his English.

I remember when she met you Jon. She called after your first date and little did you know that you didn’t have a chance of escape. It was love at first sight. After you guys had been dating for quite a while we kidded her as to when you were getting married. She said, “We will get married when Jon is ready to get married … but we will get married!!”

As we moved apart in later years I remember many very long phone conversations. Let me clarify, Lynn usually did most of the talking and I listened. I heard all about your job and hers, every detail about the kids and how they were doing in school and the conflicts with the neighbors, and of course, her illness. Her positive attitude never wavered. Her focus was entirely on the future and her next mountain to climb.

I remember the last long phone conversation we had in August of last year. It was the first time in all those years of cancer, I had ever heard her talk about her own demise, but then, it was only for a moment. The conversation quickly returned to Michelle’s wedding and the plans that were made.

I will always remember our last visit at your house several weeks ago. She walked into the room obviously full of pain, but that quickly faded away. Just like old times, the five of us sat there and drank our tea and laughed and told old “war” stories. Lynn told us about her mean old grandmother. I told Lynn that I will dig up the dirt on that mean old woman and find out what made her that way. I will not forget that promise, even if now, she probably knows the answer.

I will remember Lynn as kind and gentle, but strong and determined, a lover of children, a teacher from birth. I will remember Lynn because at the end of her life, she was able to disregard her personal pain so she could focus all her energy on her family, and to make sure they would be OK. We will all miss her, but remember, she has left a legacy that will last a lifetime.

Anytime you need to talk, Keith and I are always close by. Thanks Jon for making her life so wonderful!

Love, Lynne
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Lynn Renee McKenzie – my Wife, my Love, my Friend, and so much more!

Lynn was born in Seattle, Washington on July 07, 1949. Whenever someone asked for her birth date, she always said “7, 7, 49 – I’m a perfect square!” You know, 7 times 7 equals 49, which is a perfect square! The medical profession asked this a lot and she never tired of this little joke.

I meet Lynn about 32-33 years ago. We both worked at The Boeing Company – me for about five years and Lynn had just started. She was trying to find a room where she had to attend a meeting and was a little lost. She came over to ask me if I knew where the meeting room was located. When I saw her, all I could think of was that this was a very Elegant Lady! This image / description of Lynn has been with me ever since and is the best way I can describe her. What was really scary was that this Elegant Lady was coming over to talk to me. Much later, Lynn told me that when she saw me and the way I dressed (my shirt was worn and threadbare on the elbows) and the forlorn look on my face (I had been recently dropped by a girlfriend), that nobody was looking after for me. That’s Lynn, looking out for the downtrodden and lonely. After that, she would talk to me whenever she had business in my part of the work building and I would look for her in her part of the building. After a few weeks of this, I finally got up the courage to go to her and ask her on a date. SHE SAID YES!!!! After giving and getting the details of the date, I walked back to my desk, but my feet never touched the ground!

Our first date was wonderful! As you know, Lynn can carry on a conversation with the shyest introvert around and end with everyone feeling like you had participated in the most stimulating conversation in the world. I feel that I may have been one of her quieter dates, but she made me feel fantastic and I seemed to relax her. We both knew we had to go out again. And we did! Many times! After a little over a month, a strange feeling started coming over me. I had felt it before, but not like this – I was falling in Love with this Elegant, Classy Lady! When I told her, she said that she felt it too, but a few weeks earlier. She was afraid to tell me, because she figured that I wouldn’t just walk away, I’d RUN!

This is when I found out that Lynn makes deals with God! She told me that before we met, she had had a few unsuccessful relationships with guys. They were looking for a good time, but nothing permanent. At about 28 years old, Lynn was looking for someone to settle down with. Getting tired of this life, she said a few prayers to God asking for someone to come into her life that would love her and start a family together – otherwise she was going to forget the husband part and go right to adopting some children! At the same time, I was thinking that I was tired of dating (which wasn’t very often), tired of the breakups (which always occurred), and was ready to get married (no thought of children, yet). You can guess the next part – God arranged for us to meet, to talk, to go out, and to fall in Love. Lynn always said that she had prayed for someone to come into her life, and there I was. Because of all this, Lynn should have realized that there was no way I would have run away from her, God had answered both our “prayers” and now it was up to us to follow through.

We fell in love, but our past experiences wouldn’t always let us accept it. About two to three months after meeting Lynn, she came to me and said that she had a new love in her life and that his name was Max! My face fell to the floor where my stomach was already laying. Lynn saw this and continued talking and describing Max – beautiful coat, strong, loving, four legs, great personality – everything a girl could want …. In a dog! I had quit listening so it hadn’t dawned on me that Lynn was pulling my leg. When I finally found reality, and realized that Lynn had pulled me into her joke, I realized that I loved her very much and couldn’t bear the thought of losing her. But, my past experiences had shown that the ladies could only take me for almost a year before they walked away. I still had a number of months before that time would come with Lynn.

The months flew by and we got to know each other and fall deeper in love. Our one year anniversary of our first meeting was coming up. I knew I wanted to marry Lynn, but I had said nothing – for fear of the unlucky one year milestone. Then, Lynn decided that she wanted to fix me a special dinner of my favorite foods – lobster, shrimp, clams, wine, and a special desert. The date she chose for the dinner was the day before our one year anniversary! Oh, oh! This could be bad – but the food was going to be so good! I agreed; Lynn came over and prepared the most wonderful meal; then we sat down to talk! Here it comes – the goodbye talk!

Lynn started by saying that we had been dating for almost a year and she wanted to know what I was going to do. She had a lot of plans and not enough time. She had to know what my plans were. I think that I was so relieved that she wasn’t breaking up that I told her that I had planned on marrying her, but that I didn’t want to ask until we had been together for a year – which was the next day. She told me that it was too late – I had already asked her and she had accepted. I told her that if anything went wrong with our marriage, it was her fault because she hadn’t given me my one full year of dating before I proposed. The proposal wasn’t exactly text book, but it worked out just fine!

Our wedding was held in The Lake Forest Park Presbyterian Church and wasn’t perfect – but it seemed like it was. The things that went wrong were funny and gave us many hours of laughter. At one point my Best Man asked why I wasn’t nervous. I told him that getting married to Lynn was so natural that I could see no reason to be nervous. We were married with just a few small incidents – like the ring bearer running from the alter crying during the singing of the Lord’s Prayer or that everyone (including my new wife) left the church to go to the reception in Edmonds and left me at the church without a car or a ride.

Lynn and I knew our marriage was going to be great – it had to because of how it started. The earth moved for us …. Literally! We were married in the afternoon on May 17, 1980; Mount Saint Helens blew up on the morning of May 18th! Now that’s the way to celebrate the start of a marriage!

Once God had answered Lynn’s prayer, He continued working on us. He gave us good times, trying times, tasks, successes, failures, joys, sadness, and a sense that He was there with us and working with us all the time. When Lynn got cancer, we wondered where He was and why this was happening. He stayed with us and showed us where to get help, but we couldn’t see why this was happening and Lynn wondered what God had in mind for her to do. The cancer got worse and we could see no other way to fix Lynn, so our prayers change from curing Lynn to ending Lynn’s suffering. Again, God came and answered our prayers. One of the last things I overheard Lynn saying was when she was talking to God. She told Him that she felt that she had accomplished all that she could up to that time and that she was ready to go, but that she would like Him to hurry up and take her. That was Lynn, always in a hurry! Within a few days He did.

My Elegant Lady is gone from me, now. Lynn’s tasks are done and her suffering is over. I have only my memories of her and our times together. They will live with me for the rest of my life. So I say, so long dear Lynn, I’ll miss you so much.
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Hi Jon,
I'm so sorry to hear about Lynn's passing. I think what I will remember the most about Lynn is - the way she dressed. She was always so beautiful, so well groomed.

I tried to make it to her memorial services, but somehow I got the wrong address and I got lost. I had Lakeshore Drive, but asked where to go and they sent me to Lake Stevens - so I got more lost.

I had the greatest talk with Lynn a few months ago. I will always be thankful for that. She was a good friend and I will miss her. Hope to see you at the Beach this summer.

(From a Tender Toughts Card)

Our hearts are with you,
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Dear Jon & Family,
Keeping you all in my daily thoughts & Prayers; even though I was not physically a part of your family, Lynn and I communicated as if we were sisters. I look forward to the day in eternity to reconnect with her.

(From a Today and Always Card)

Loving Sympathy to all of you,
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