1942.11.23 – 2015.01.17
On November 23, 1942 James Donald ‘Donnie’ MacKenzie was born to Marion MacKenzie (nee Nicholson) and the late Norman MacKenzie in Cardigan, PEI. Donnie was raised with his brothers Garth MacKenzie (Cardigan) and the late Willard MacKenzie, his sisters Ruth MacDonald (Hamilton), Norma MacNeil (Hamilton) and Elaine MacNeil (Burnt Point) in the family home in the Village. Donnie was active in his studies graduating from Montague Regional High School and vocational school then eventually starting his career as a Welder with Georgetown Shipyard. In 1969, Donnie married Claire Fogarty, their daughter Kim was born in 1970 and son Darcy in 1974,building their home overlooking the Village. After the sudden passing of his father in 1975, Donnie and Claire took over the family business, Cardigan Garage Ltd. Throughout the years, Donnie was a respected member of the community, as a volunteer and member of the Cardigan Lions Club, Cardigan Fire Department, Cardigan Village Council and St. Andrews Presbyterian Church. Volunteering and assisting when needed, he was loyal to his community. Donnie and Claire raised their family, built the business to what it is today. Many long days and late nights, dedication and commitment lead to a successful business. He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, chatting about sports, politics and current events. When there was down time, Donnie spent Sunday afternoons enjoying the view from their deck overlooking the village. Donnie enjoyed visits from family and friends and he made time for all who came around. There were many chats around the kitchen table. You would see him at the rink and ball field, leaving the garage to catch the games. He was always there to help anyone out when a call came in or there was a knock at the door. He made sure everyone was looked after, day or night. He was a believer in a strong work ethic and integrity which he instilled in his children. Expectations were high and his guidance and support were never ending, always listening and allowing for each to gain their independence through life experiences. At a time in his life where slowing down should have been the focus, he was given a diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma, a fight, he did not deserve, but one he took on with determination and courage. Donnie always maintained a positive attitude, not hesitating when someone asked how he was doing or to explain his treatments. Often he was asked to speak to others who received the same diagnosis about his experiences with treatment. During this time, his family, friends and community rallied around him, strengthening his determination to reach his goals, watching family go through life experiences, but most of all spending time with his grandchildren. His legacy is one of family and friends, helping others and working hard to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.
Card of Thanks
On January 17, 2015, Donnie MacKenzie of Cardigan, PEI passed peacefully with family at his side, after a hard fought battle against Multiple Myeloma since 2003. He was laid to rest on January 20, 2015 at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Cardigan, PEI. Thank you to those who travelled from near and far to attend the wake and funeral services and to the staff of Cardigan Garage for looking after everything during our absences. Our sincere thanks to the pall bears and flower bearers, as well to the Campbell sisters for preparing meals. Thank you to all our friends and family who came to the hospital and house to comfort our family during this difficult time and to those who brought food, your kindness will not be forgotten. Special thanks to Darren MacEachern, John B Webster, Eddy Quinn and St. Andrews Choir for beautiful music, as well to Rev. Stephen Thompson and Father Tim Broderick for their prayers and kind words. Our family is grateful to so many wonderful medical professionals who were involved in Donnie’s treatment over the years. To those who came to the house to assist with treatment regimes, your kindness and care will not be forgotten. Dr. Terry Magennis who was with Donnie at the beginning and at the end of his journey, our family is forever grateful for going above and beyond throughout the years. Dr. Phil Champion and the team at the PEI Cancer Centre, thank you for all you have done over the years. Dr. Darrell White and his team at the QEII VG site in Halifax are second to none, thank you for your guidance and compassionate, words cannot express our gratitude. Donnie received excellent care and viable treatment options to continue his fight and that of others suffering from this disease. His willingness to undergo experimental treatment spoke to his courage and determination to fight and be part of an eventual cure. Most importantly it allowed him time to be part of his family’s successes, struggles and most of all to meet and spend time with his family and grandchildren - Nate, JD, Brooklyn (Georgia) and Will. To family and friends near and far, your calls, cards and visits have meant so much to all of us, there is a huge void in our lives, but the memories and guidance remain with us, knowing a guardian angel watches over us all.