Neil McKenzie (26 Mar 1948 - 7 Feb 2021)

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NeilMacmillan Cancer Support

£850.00 + Gift Aid of £105.00
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Funeral Service

Location
St Thomas of Canterbury 63 London Road Rainham ME8 7RH
Funeral Director
Bournes Of Sittingbourne

Cremation Details

Location
Garden of England Crematorium Sheppey Way Bobbing ME9 8GZ

In loving memory of James Neil McKenzie who sadly passed away on 7th February 2021, aged 72 years.

Neil was born in Liverpool in 1948, the youngest of 3 children. Leaving school in 1965, his testimonial described him as "of general average ability" - but noted his 'quiet effectiveness which with growing maturity can lead to his achieving the full potentiality of his gifts". I think this may be the only documented description of him being quiet!!

He dedicated his life to teaching and primary education. His first teaching post came in 1969 at St Matthew's RC Primary School in Skelmersdale, Merseyside - a posting that had a profound impact in shaping his personal and professional life. At the school, he became Deputy Head in 1974 under the guidance of Jack Baron, his friend and mentor, until 1979 when he was appointed to his first headteacher role in Kent.

He was head of St Edward's RC school in Sheerness from 1979 until 1990 when he accepted the headship of St Thomas of Canterbury RC school in Rainham, where he remained until his retirement from education (at least on a full time basis).

It's difficult to capture adequately the impact he had in his career. Perhaps it is best summarised by the number of former pupils and teachers who have been in touch with our family since he passed away. They describe him as a headteacher who endeavoured to give every pupil the best possible start to their education (albeit instilling a little fear every now and then!) and a fierce champion of his staff, building a working environment to enable teachers to teach. That legacy is also reflected in the lasting friendships with many parents and teachers over the course of his 30+ years as a head.

As mentioned above, his personal life was also shaped by school. Neil met Susan Livesey in the staffroom of St Matthew's. They were married in Wigan in 1971 and would have celebrated their 50th Anniversary in April this year. He was her constant source of strength and love through her adult life, facing the many challenges to health and wellbeing at her side.

Neil is survived by Susan, his son Andrew, Nicola and grandchildren Alice and Emma, whom he loved deeply.

His funeral is set for Friday 9th April. Sadly, lockdown guidelines mean the ceremony will be severely restricted to close family and friends. However, once lockdown is over, there will be a social event to celebrate his life properly - all will be welcome.

Lynn Foot donated in memory of Neil

Love Lynn and family

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Nicola McKenzie wrote

Love from Lynn and family

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Colin Shackleford donated in memory of Neil
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Pam & John Blackman donated £30 in memory of Neil

In Loving Memory of a dear friend and neighbour. Rest in Peace.

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Pam & John Blackman wrote

In Loving Memory of a dear friend and neighbour. Rest in Peace.

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Ian Tilling wrote

I'm privileged to have so many great memories of our times together, highs and lows. Driving school buses (including a holiday camp trip and a netball competion), jumping out of an airplane, frightening the kids (and some parents!) By playing Bill Sykes opposite you as Fagin and Celia as Nancy, and only possible because Sue taught me how to 'sing'! School fairs, sharing Sundays at each others homes, our kids hanging out with Andrew. My Isle of Sheppey days were some of my best ever, much of that due to our friendship.
You remain in my memories and your friendship, in my heart. Cheers me dears!

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The Doe Family wrote

Lovely memories of a brilliant head teacher. Who taught the children integrity, peace and love and who was so supportive to our family when Kevin passed away. Up with the angels dressed as Elvis singing to Elton. Rest in peace Neil, condolences to the family.

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Anne and John Pearmain wrote

Goodnight and God Bless Neil, going to miss you a lot xx

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Hilary Phillips donated in memory of Neil

Rest in peace Neil

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Hilary Phillips wrote

Rest in peace Neil

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Katie Morris lit a candle
Chris & Caroline Williams lit a candle
Jean Manzotti wrote

RIP Neil

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Caroline Williams wrote

Rest in Peace Neil. Thanks for some great memories. 🕯xx

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Christopher Barnes donated £40 in memory of Neil
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Paul Tighe donated £20 in memory of Neil

RIP Neil x

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Paul Tighe wrote

RIP Neil x

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Celia Tighe donated £20 in memory of Neil

RIP Neil x

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Denise Oliver donated £10 in memory of Neil

Remembering a wonderful friend and colleague when we worked together at Kent
Adult Education. Neil didnt suffer fools gladly but was always there to support in any way he could if ever there was a problem. I will miss you Neil and rest in peace my dear friend. Xxx

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John Scutt donated in memory of Neil
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Alma Myatt donated £50 in memory of Neil

In memory of a very dear friend. Rest in peace, Neil.

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Cecilia Wells-Tilling lit a candle
Cecilia Wells-Tilling donated £20 in memory of Neil

RIP Neil . Sadly missed. God Bless

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Mary Melton donated £50 in memory of Neil

So sad. It was a privilege to have worked with you Neil.
So many happy memories. Full of fun and madcap ideas.
My thoughts and prayers go out to your family.
Rest in Peace.
M

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Veronica Deans formerly Frost wrote

I am so very sorry to hear of Mr Mckenzie's passing he showed me a great kindness when I was a pupil at St Edwards, I was pleased to be able to exchange messages him personally about 18 months ago and thank him for all he did for my family.

Please accept my sincere condolences there will be many I'm sure that will remember his good soul and how much he cared for his school staff and pupils

With kind regards
Veronica

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Maureen Lumley donated £20 in memory of Neil

RIP Neil

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Deana Kemp wrote

I will never forget the kindness and support you gave me and my girls during a difficult time . Thank you xx

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Katie Morris posted a picture
A trip back to St. Thomas’ together a few years ago. Beautiful day, happy memories. Go gently, Boss.

A trip back to St. Thomas’ together a few years ago. Beautiful day, happy memories. Go gently, Boss.

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Katie Morris donated £250 in memory of Neil

To the most wonderful boss, mentor and friend with love and happy memories. Thank you for everything. A light has gone out in my world, but is shining in the next xxx

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Jan Hubbard donated £25 in memory of Neil

A lifetime of love never dies x

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