Ron McKenzie, 80, of Green Bay, WI, formerly of Minneapolis, MN, passed away peacefully at home quietly encircled by three generations of family on March 30, 2013.
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Ron was a graduate of the University of Minnesota, School of Journalism. He went on the serve as captain in the US Air Force, Headquarters of the 18th Air Force, 1955-1957 in Greenville, SC, as Public Information Officer (journalist and photographer) where he had opportunity to travel the world including assisting in the production of the 1958 Cinerama adventure film, "Search for Paradise". He later completed an MBA at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh where he went on to teach business classes. In the late 1960s, he was an original founding member and first president of the board of the Boy's Club of Green Bay (now the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay) and has been the longest serving board member in full-standing, serving without interruption from the early 1970s until this year where he remained committed to serving the changing needs of boys and girls in the Green Bay area in the 40 years since inception of the organization. Along with his wife, Ann, they established the Mark McKenzie Scholarship Fund which offsets tuition costs to assist students with disabilities in attending St Norbert College in De Pere.
Ron was witty, sharp and good-natured with a dry sense of humor and one who delighted in making connections with everyone he met along the way. A passionate actor, he held his first role in theatre at 11 years old in a University of Minnesota production and his last, at 80 years old, in "The Sound of Music" with the St. Norbert College Music Theatre with many productions in the interim decades. As an accomplished watercolorist, he could be found in classes at The Clearing in Door County and NWTC in Green Bay with brush in hand exacting technique until very recently. For many years he completed the New York Times crossword puzzles…in pen. An appreciator of great music from big band to Canadian Brass to bagpipes, he was of the generation of men who learned to dance well and was able to sweep many lovely dance partners across the floor with confidence and grace. He found freedom in raising sail on all of the Great Lakes and in worldwide travel with his wife, Ann.
Ron is survived by his three children, Angela and her daughter, Thu; Ron Paul (Lori) and their son, Matt; and Greg (Keli) and their children, Mark, Ryan, and Katie. He was preceded in death by his parents, his son, Mark and his wife of 49 years, Ann Devoy McKenzie. Also surviving is a sister Jan (Maynard) Anderson. He will be fondly remembered by many loving family members and friends across the US.
Visitation will be held at St Norbert College Parish at Old St. Joseph Church on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 from 4-7pm followed by a short memorial service at 7:00. Visitation will continue on Thursday, April 4th, 2013 beginning at 10am. Mass of Christian Burial will be held 11am with Bishop Robert Morneau officiating. RYAN FUNERAL HOME is assisting the family. Please visit www.ryanfh.com to send online condolences to the McKenzie family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in his memory would be greatly appreciated by family to the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay and the Mark McKenzie Scholarship Fund at St Norbert College in De Pere.
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette on Apr. 2, 2013