Dr. James C. McKenzie, DMD 12/18/29-8/16/2021
Betty Sue McKenzie 7/19/27-8/18/2021
Jim and Betty went home peacefully within 48 hours of each other. After 71 years together, nothing less expected.
Jim was born at his mother's family farm in Carter County, Kentucky where he returned every summer to learn dirt farming. His grandfather was a country Doctor, traveling by horseback. He became a child prodigy on woodwinds, had pictures in the paper and was a paid professional by age 11. He toured with dance bands. After graduation from Huntington High, he attended Marshall University where he met Betty.
Betty Sue Guy, along with her identical twin Jenny, was born in Logan County, West Virginia. They were daughters of a High School Principal and a schoolteacher. They both attended Marshall University to study Education.
In 1950, Jim had a severe accident on his motorcycle, with a month recuperating in the hospital, during which time he was informed "it's the Harley or me”! A wedding was set for August 3rd, 1950.
She was a straight A student and asked the Professor if she could be excused one day to get married. Her request was denied. When she returned to class after the wedding and brief honeymoon, she returned to class to find she was no longer a straight A student..
Jim joined up for Army Medical Corps and was stationed in Panama, where Betty joined him and had the first of four children there. They came home with a Pharmacy degree, and used it to support the family while attending University of Louisville Dental School.
Upon graduation, he bought a practice from a retiring dentist in his hometown of Huntington, WV and had a successful practice, with Betty as his office manager. Three more kids miraculously appeared and leisure time included fresh water fishing and trailer camping. There were three cross country trips, pulling a trailer for eating and sleeping. Every state west of the Mississippi was visited.
In November 1970 friends and colleagues were lost, along with the football team and staff of Marshall University when their plane went down on a cold wet Saturday night. By Monday, Jim was in a temporary morgue at the airport identifying bodies with dental records (no DNA in those days). He didn't talk about it much, but seeing friends in those conditions was extremely difficult. He received a tribute from West Virginia's Governor.
The next year the family relocated to Florida and settled in New Smyrna Beach and he opened a practice on the North Causeway. McKenzie Family Dental continued after Jim's retirement with Dave joining the practice in 1986. His job was now saltwater fishing, deer hunting, a little golf, and traveling with Betty. He was a Christian and loved teaching Sunday School. Betty was active in Women's Missions and held prayer luncheons.
They both enjoyed life but living long isn't easy. They were dismayed to outlive friends and family. But they had each other and it was storybook the way they went together. Well done you two! Thank you to all the caregivers that did such a wonderful job to allow them to stay home until the very end.
Survivors include four children: Curtis (Robin), David (Lori), Madonna (Mike) Broschart, and James McKenzie II. Grandchildren: Shayna, Matthew (Ashley), Sarah, Jamie, Michael (Elizabeth) Broschart, Jennifer (David) Vaughan, Allison (Patrick) Spook, Joseph Broschart, Jacob Broschart, Breeanna (Kaleb) Carlson, Taylor McKenzie, Judette McKenzie. Ten great-grandchildren.
Service will be private. We are regretful but have Covid issues and are doing distanced and protective efforts for the family. We hope to host a memorial picnic when things calm down.
In lieu of flowers or other gestures, please consider donating to foundations close to our family. Servants Quarter Fellowship Haiti Dental Clinic (Judette's home country), 1429 Sabal Palms Drive, Edgewater 32132; Advent Health Transplant Institute, 550 East Rollins Street, 6th Floor, Orlando 32803. (Jamie’s transplant). Please address your donation with the names we are honoring: James and Betty McKenzieThank you everyone and may God Bless.
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