04/19/1931 – 01/26/2015
James McKenzie passed away peacefully in the presence of his family on January 26, 2015, after a two year heroic struggle against cancer. He leaves behind his wife Dorothy, his daughter Sheelah Smith and her husband Doug Smith, his son Doug McKenzie, his wife Marian McKenzie, and their son Jim’s beloved grandson Ian McKenzie.
Jim was the son of John and Ruby McKenzie (Meek), and was born in Motherwell, Scotland on 04/19/1931. The oldest of three boys, he was preceded in passing by his brother John. His surviving youngest brother Bob lives in Canada with his wife Resa and their children and grandchildren. Jim met his beloved wife Dorothy in the British Royal Air Force. They were married on Dorothy’s 21st Birthday, and celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary just days before Jim’s passing. Jim would have been 84 in April.
A senior partner and Consulting Engineer with Archer Spencer Engineering, Jim had a personal specialty in mechanical engineering and a passion for boilers. He did work for UCSB and SB Cottage Hospital, among many other local institutions.
Jim had many interests and untold talents. In Scotland as a young man he was a snare drummer in the Dalziel Highland Pipe Band, whose Drum Corp won the Scottish Championship in 1951. He placed 6th in the Scottish world solo drumming competition at age 17, and retained his rhythm and love of music of all types throughout his life. Jim loved mathematics and astronomy. He could build anything, and constructed the “Millennium Obelisk” much admired by his Montecito neighbors. He loved wood carving, especially Celtic knotwork designs, and was a member of the California Carvers’ Guild. He had a tremendous memory for numbers, songs, and poetry. But most of all, he loved, protected, and cared for his family. Beloved husband, Daddy, and Grandpa, we will miss you terribly, but the things you taught us, our memories of you, and your presence will be with us always. Bless you on your journey, dearest one… we love you, and leave you in God’s hands.