James Stephen McKenzi, age 67, of Sturgis, Mich., passed away Saturday afternoon, March 5, 2011, at Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo.
He was born March 23, 1943, in Jonesboro, Ark., a son of Jim and Willodean (Swindle) McKenzie.
Jim had resided in Sturgis since 1972 coming from White Pigeon where he had lived his early life and graduated from White Pigeon High School with the class of 1961.
He first married Cecelia Shubel, this marriage ended in divorce. On Oct. 9, 1972, he married Linda Mitchell in Elkhart.
Jim’s entire working life was involved in the auto parts industry. He owned and operated Auto Parts Distributors in Sturgis from 1972 – 1999.
As a child he was baptized in the United Methodist Church. Jim was a veteran of the U.S. Army serving during the Vietnam War stationed in Germany where he was a medic earning the rank of E-4.
He had a true love of antique and vintage automobiles and for many years was involved as an owner in Late Model Stock Racing. His grandchildren will forever remember grandpa’s wonderful camp fires.
Jim is survived by his loving and dedicated wife of 38 years, Linda; one daughter, Stephanie (Michael) McKenzie Price of Fort Wayne, Ind.; three grandchildren, Monika McKenzie, Matthew McKenzie Meyer and Mary Katherine Muthusamy Price; his mother, Willodean McKenzie of LaGrange, Ind.; one sister, Patricia Sward of Kalamazoo; two nephews, Dr. Nicholas Sward of Kalamazoo and Robert (Jacque) Mitchell of Fairbanks, Ala.; one niece, Vicki (Stanley) Edson of Elkhart, Ind.; four great nieces, Paige Sward, Anna Sward and Sarah Sward, all of Kalamazoo and Lynee Perkins of Elkhart, Ind.
He was preceded in death by his father and one son, Todd Michael McKenzie.
The family will receive friends from 11 a.m.– 12:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Hackman Family Funeral Homes – Rosenberg Chapel, 807 E. Chicago Rd., Sturgis, MI 49091, (269) 651-3284. Funeral services celebrating the life of James S. McKenzie will begin at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home. Mr. Cameron Brown will officiate. A graveside committal will follow the service at the Salem Cemetery in Sherman Township. Full military honors will be conferred by Captain John J. Kelley Post #1355 VFW and the U.S. Army Honor Guard.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. McKenzie’s memory consider Youth for Christ, Inc. 26693 US 12, Sturgis, MI 49091.
The obituary is also at www. hackman family funeral home.com where personal messages of support may be left for the family.