Neil McKenzie (26 Mar 1948 - 7 Feb 2021)

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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.

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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Hilary Phillips donated in memory of Neil

Rest in peace Neil

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Katie Morris lit a candle
Chris & Caroline Williams lit a candle
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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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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Katie Morris posted a picture

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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Yvonne and Jim Durkan donated £10 in memory of Neil

RIP Neil, Kindest regards Jim and Yvonne Durkan

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Yvonne and Jim Durkan donated £35 in memory of Neil

Deepest sympathy to you all
Kindest regards SVP Rainham

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Catherine Cleall donated £10 in memory of Neil

Fondly remembered and will be missed. Sending prayers. Xx

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Corinne Hubbard donated £20 in memory of Neil

I still cannot really believe you are gone Neil. You have been part of my life in so many ways since I was 5. A good family friend you were more than happy to step into the surrogate dad role later on. I will miss you. Rest peacefully xxx

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alan sunderland donated £10 in memory of Neil

I privilege to have known Neil and will always hold a warm glow in my heart for him.the world is definately worse off with his passing.but I will remember him for being warm,caring loving true gent.

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Ann Bracknell donated £50 in memory of Neil

With love, thoughts and prayers for Neil. A good man

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Jo Trust donated £20 in memory of Neil

Thinking of Neil’s family

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Andrew McKenzie posted a picture

Neil (bottom left) with his family - Eileen & Ron (parents), brother Ron and sister Angela.

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Andrew McKenzie posted a picture

Father & Son

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