Valley County, IDGenWeb Project
Ronald Roy McKenzie, 64, of Donnelly, after a hard -fought battle with cancer, let go of this life on May 11, 2012, with his daughters by his side. He was currently residing in the Idaho State Veteranís Home in Boise. Services will be held on Sunday, May 20 at 2:00 p.m. at the Finn Church on the Farm to Market Road, McCall, Idaho, with interment in the Finn Cemetery beside the Church.
Ron was born on October 2, 1947, the first of three children of Delmer & Inez (Lehti) McKenzie. He was raised in Donnelly, Idaho; attended schools there and in McCall and graduated from Donnelly-McCall High School in 1965, where he participated in Boys Club, Chorus and excelled in Track in the short distance (100 yd. dash, 440 relay, etc.)
Growing up in Donnelly provided an idyllic childhood. He and his brother, Ralph, and their friends enjoyed fishing, exploring Valley County, swimming in the Cascade Reservoir, cross-country skiing, ice skating, hooky-bobbing, camping, hiking, water-skiing and hunting. They attended Donnelly Bible Church activities, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Joni Fieldsí teen singing group. They rode horses, bicycles, and motorcycles before graduating to boats and cars. Ron liked to build things--toy boats, car models, bridges over the surrounding streams, rafts for floating in Boulder Creek and a two-seater snow sled with a steering mechanism that was towed by his Mom for many miles behind the car on Valley County roads.
Ron attended Linkís Business School in Boise after High School and then joined the Navy Reserves in December 1966. He worked for the U.S. Forest Service and Valley County Road Maintenance before going active duty in the Navy from April 1968 until January 1970. Machinist Mate Third Class McKenzie worked to keep the main refrigeration & air conditioning plant of the U.S.S. Kearsarge Aircraft Carrier operating smoothly. Besides sub chasing off the coast of Vietnam, ports of call included Hawaii, Hong Kong, China, Japan and the Philippines.
Upon discharge from the Navy, Ron went to work for Bob Bate Ford in Cascade, thus indulging his life-long love affair with Ford Motor Company! After building his first engine in the house while in high school and having his sister mark off the increments on his homemade micrometer, Ron read, studied, took classes and collected anything to do with Fords. He never ran across a Ford piece, part or body that was unworthy of his collection, and could answer almost any question posed to him, or, at the very least, could reference the information. He could discourse for hours on the 390 Ford engine (or any other). His passing removes an almost encyclopedic knowledge of Ford engines from this earth.
In April 1975 he and Barbara Weeks were married in Cascade. From this union came Ronís greatest treasures, his twin daughters, Valerie JoAnne and Veronica Marie, born on August 13, 1976. Ron and Barbara were later divorced and Ron concluded his working career with many years as a mechanic for Ikola Logging in McCall.
In spite of lifeís curves and traumas, Ronís optimistic nature always rebounded. He had a big heart for people and always trusted a personís word, perhaps because he was always honest with others. He loved his family and friends, especially his beautiful daughters.
ďRonnie BoyĒ leaves a void in our family. We will miss his smile, his hugs, his optimism, his knowledge and his healthy appetite at family dinners.
He is survived by his daughters; Valerie (Shane) Hertel of Boise; Veronica (Matt) Naumann of Meridian; step-granddaughters Jacquelynn and Hayley Hertel; grandson Tucker Naumann; his mother, Inez McKenzie of Donnelly; his brother, Ralph (Rhonda) McKenzie of McCall; his sister, Sylvia (Ken) Tinsley of New Meadows; two nieces, three nephews and several special cousins.
He was preceded in death by his dad, Delmer McKenzie in a logging accident in 1951 and a close uncle, Alvin Leaf in 2006.
Thank you is so inadequate for the care and concern Ron received from the staff and doctors of the V.A. Hospital and Idaho State Veteranís Home in Boise. The staff gave Ron excellent care, allowed him his dignity under extremely difficult circumstances and became like family.
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