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Marilyn Joyce McKenzie
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Obituary for Marilyn Joyce McKenzie

Marilyn Joyce (Cartwright) McKenzie, 85, wife of the late John R. McKenzie, peacefully passed away Monday, April 10th, 2017 at Park View Health Center, Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Our mother, Marilyn, was born on July 18th, 1931 in Wallace, Idaho to the late Rhea and Charles Cartwright. She grew up in Helena, Montana, where she met and fell in love with our father, John McKenzie. They were married and then bravely left behind the mountains of Montana to move to Milwaukee where Dad began medical school. Eleven years later they were the parents of eight children! As busy as Mom was with a large family, she was devoted to volunteering for numerous organizations, including being the first woman to serve on the Sacred Heart Parish Council and the first woman to serve on the Board of the Oshkosh Country Club.

Mom was a role model to us, her children, in so many ways. Her example began with the love she had for Our Lord and his Holy Church. Our mother taught us to pray every night while kneeling at our bedside, reciting a simple prayer we have passed on to our own children. The guidance she gave us was shaped by her faith. We have been inspired by her fidelity to Daily Mass and the rosary. We are consoled by the reassurance that Mom and Dad are finally reunited!

Another powerful example Mom set for us was in her love for our father. She was faithful and devoted to him for all 59 years of their marriage, until Dad died in 2010. They made time for each other every day to talk and laugh, and sometimes they would even dance in the living room. There was such joy in their marriage. Mom learned to golf so that she could participate in a sport that Dad loved. In later years, they would travel to golf courses all over the world. They spent 20 years living part time in Hawaii, or paradise, as they called it. Their love flourished in the good times and was strengthened in the tough times.

Again, Mom taught us by her example in what it means to be a mother and create a home for her family. She worked with efficiency and skill in every aspect of caring for a large family. We sat down to a gourmet, home-cooked meal every night and woke up to a hot breakfast every morning. Our family came to expect and love traditions at every holiday. Mom was a matriarch in the best sense of the word, cultivating a strong bond between all members of the family, drawing us together, keeping us connected.

In Mom’s spare time she would play the piano even though she could not read music; she played by ear. She painted original oil paintings which we have framed and are hanging in our homes. Mom was a seamstress, making our dresses, or decorative items. She sewed matching outfits for all six daughters to wear in a fashion show - a real show stopper! As the years progressed there were quilts for the new grand babies and embroidered tablecloths when they got married. Did we mention she could dance? Mom and Dad were legendary on the dance floor!

We will miss our mother more than words can say. We are blessed to have been born to such an exemplary woman! Left behind to cherish her memory are her eight children; Kathleen McKenzie, Green Bay WI, Linda Brammer (Marc) South Bend IN, Matt McKenzie (Elizabeth), Los Angeles CA, Pat McKenzie (Anne), Green Bay WI, Mary Zmolek (Joe), Omro WI, Amy Swanson (Randall), Oshkosh WI, Terri McKenzie, Brookfield WI, Sheila Acton (William), Elmhurst IL; 25 grandchildren, 22 great grandchildren, and 4 more expected this year.

Our mother, Marilyn, was preceded in death by her beloved husband John, her sister Shirley Neilson, grandsons Charlie and Patrick Brammer.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, April 17th, 2017 at 12:00 noon at St. Jude the Apostle Parish, Sacred Heart Church (519 Knapp St.) with The Rev. Daniel Schuster and The Rev. Mathew Simonar officiating. Visitation will be held prior to Mass beginning at 9:30 am at the same location. Burial will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery later in the day.

The family extends its heartfelt gratitude to Park View Health Center for the excellent care the staff gave to Marilyn, especially in the last days of her life.

In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established.

Previous Events





9:30 AM - 12:00 PM
St. Jude the Apostle Catholic

216 W South Park Ave
Oshkosh, WI 54902





12:00 PM
St. Jude the Apostle Catholic

216 W South Park Ave
Oshkosh, WI 54902

Cemetery Details


Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery

Oshkosh, WI 54902


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