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James William McKenzie

James William McKenzie

1935—2020

James William McKenzie passed away early Monday, January 13, 2020. Jim was born to Claude and Carol McKenzie in Napa, California on September 3, 1935.

Jim is survived by his loving and devoted wife of nearly sixty years, Annette McKenzie of Vacaville, California. He also leaves behind his favorite daughter Julie and her husband Per Axelsson of Djursholm, Sweden and his son Scott and his wife Kristin McKenzie of Vacaville, California. He is also survived by his five grandchildren, Katherine (Parker) McKenzie Itow and Trevor and Derek McKenzie, all of Vacaville, California, Marcus and Lucas Axelsson of Djursholm, Sweden, his great grandson Jack Palmer Itow (Vacaville, CA) as well as his older brother Ding McKenzie (Pam) of Newcastle, California. Jim leaves behind many life-long friends who he considers to be family.

Jim spent his first seven years of life in the small ranching and farming community of Monticello, California – now covered by 250 feet of water and called Lake Berryessa.

During World War II his family moved to Napa, California where he finished grammar school, high school and junior college. In 1957 He graduated from Sacramento State College and the following January went into the US Marine Corps through their Officer Candidates Program at Quantico, Virginia.

In 1959, Jim was transferred to Twentynine Palms, California but not before he convinced Annette to marry him. They were married June 3, 1960 in the Salt Lake City Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They then began their lives together in Twentynine Palms.

In 1961, Jim and Annette moved to Vacaville, California where he entered into business with his uncle Albert (Bruz) McKenzie and his cousin Sandy. For the next nearly 40 years, Jim, along with his cousin Sandy, then Sandy’s sons David and John, and then his own son Scott, would own and operate Pacific Ace Hardware on Merchant St.

Jim was loved and well known by many in Vacaville. This community has always treated the McKenzie family well and as such, Jim felt strongly about repaying it through community involvement. Jim served on the Board of Trustees for the Vacaville Museum and later served as President of the Board of Trustees. He also served on the Elmira Cemetery Board and as a leader for the Boy Scouts of America where as a young man he earned the rank of Eagle Scout.

He was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served in numerous callings including Ward Executive Secretary, Sunday School Superintendent, and Young Men’s President.

Jim enjoyed the beauty and mysteries of God’s good earth. He loved to hunt, fish, boat, snow ski and spend time at his cabin near Echo Lake. Jim made numerous trips to fish at Pyramid Lake, Nevada, pack trips in Wyoming, elk hunts along the Greys River, Wyoming and yearly visits to Yellowstone National Park and the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada with his forever girlfriend, Annette. Jim owned property in Lake County, California and loved to spend time there, deer hunting with his family and friends. If that wasn’t enough to keep him busy you could find him in Pope Valley playing Pedro or hunting with his other family, the Haugs, who treated him as one of their own. He will be remembered as the best chocolate chip cookie maker, a man who never met a stranger, the defender of the underdog, and in the eyes of his grandchildren, one of the “Great ones.” He loved watching NFL football (but many times couldn’t stand to tune in until the last quarter) and NBA basketball where he would cheer Annette’s team, The Golden State Warriors, on for the final five minutes of the game.

Jim’s greatest joy was spending time with his family. He deeply loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandson. He and Annette never missed a football, basketball or rugby game. They attended numerous school band concerts and musicals where their grandchildren were the “stars.” Jim looked forward to summertime when Julie and her family would visit from Sweden. He would pack as many adventures as possible into those precious weeks when he had all of his clan together.

Jim is preceded in death by his parents Carol and Claude McKenzie, brother-in-law Donald Taysom and his son David Alexander McKenzie who died just a three weeks ago.

A visitation will be held at 10:00 a.m. followed by services for Jim and David at 11:00 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 311 Alamo Dr., Vacaville, CA, on Saturday, January 18, 2020.

Memorial contributions may be made to LDS Humanitarian Services at give.lds.org/humanitarian-aid or to the UC Davis Pediatric Heart Center at give.ucdavis.edu

Arrangements are under the care of Bryan-Braker Funeral Home (707) 425-4697. You may sign the guest book at www.bryanbraker.com.

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