Dr. Kenneth Homer McKenzie, son of Homer E McKenzie and Esther Pearl McKenzie passed away to his heavenly home on Jan. 5, 2017 at the Avera Gregory hospital after a courageous 6 month battle with Acute Myeloid Leukemia.
Kenneth was born on Oct. 11th, 1934 in Tripp County southwest of Dallas, South Dakota. Kenneth was raised on the family farm and during this time developed a deep interest in and love of animals of all types. This laid a foundation for his choice of profession in Veterinary Medicine.
Kenneth attended High School in Gregory, South Dakota, excelling in academics and sports. He was a natural athlete, earning multiple medals and lettering in both track and football in both high school and college.
Following high school, he attended SDSU in Brookings, South Dakota completing a BS in Agriculture in 1956. He was accepted into Veterinary Colleges at the University of Minnesota, Iowa State and Kansas State. He enrolled at Iowa State and graduated in 1960 with a Doctorate in Veterinarian Medicine.
Kenneth married his high school sweetheart Mardis Rae (Kimball) McKenzie on Aug. 14, 1955. Kenneth began his Veterinary career in Rapid City, following graduation from Iowa State in 1960. In 1964, Ken, Mardi and growing family moved to Burke, South Dakota after purchasing the practice from Dr. Hans Neuman. Ken worked from an office in the basement of his home until 1968 when he built his veterinarian clinic . In 1973 Ken and Mardi built their home on property adjacent to the clinic, from which they both lived until their deaths. Kenneth worked tirelessly serving the community at all hours of the day and night. He served on the Burke School Board and frequently attended his children’s basketball and football games, wrestling matches, baseball games and track meets. An avid fisherman, the family spent many wonderful times together on the Missouri River, boating, fishing, skiing and swimming.
After retirement in 1999, he devoted time to the development of game habitat at the family farm. He was an avid researcher and historian, with vast knowledge of Native American history and family geneology. Having family origins in Scotland and Ireland, he traveled to Scotland with family in 2014 and described it as the most wonderful trip he ever had. Kenneth loved spending time with his family and grandchildren and blessed them with his love and devotion.