Walter “Kenneth” McKenzie, age 85, formerly of Jacksonville, FL passed away at CarePartners Solace Center, Asheville, NC surrounded by family on August 12, 2018. Born in Melbourne, FL, he was the husband of Roberta Jane (Minton) McKenzie of Asheville, and the son of the late Linton Jones and Lola (Brett) McKenzie.
An avid outdoorsman and athlete, Kenneth attended Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, FL, where during his senior year he joined the United States Marine Corps at age seventeen thinking that they had really nice camping gear. He achieved the rank of Staff Sargent and served during the Korea campaign until honorably discharged. He then attended Florida State University where he attained a BS in Business Administration and entered the United States Navy. He earned his commission and wings of gold as a naval aviator in 1958 and spent a total of 28 years in uniform, retiring as a Lieutenant Commander. His service to his country and the values he instilled in his children were his proudest achievements.
Known for his love of life, generosity, and witty sense of humor, Kenneth traveled extensively and never met a stranger. However, his greatest love was returning to his mountaintop home in Asheville with his bride of 40 years, Roberta Jane. His home was a gathering place for friends and family alike, including four generations of the McKenzie clan. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, playing golf, and was an ardent fan and supporter of his three sons and their families. He will be dearly missed by all who loved him.
In addition to Roberta, his wife of over 40 years, he is survived by 3 sons and their wives: Jeffrey L. and Heather McKenzie of Virginia Beach, Christopher H. and Karah McKenzie of Las Vegas, and Garrett F. and Erica McKenzie of Boca Raton, FL; 6 grandchildren: Zachary, Jordan, Ryan T., Patrick, Ryan K., and Casey McKenzie; and 2 great-grandchildren: Mikayla and Jackson McKenzie.
A Memorial Service will be held at Western Carolina Veteran’s Cemetery on October 8, 2018 at 12:00 PM.
Memorial contributions in Kenneth’s honor may be made to American Cancer Society online at www.cancer.org.