Don McKenzie

Obituary of Don Jeremiah McKenzie

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Don J. McKenzie, 87, of Westville Center passed away at his home Sunday morning, March 26, 2023. Born February 8th, 1936 in Depew, NY, he was a son of Joseph and Violet Pitz McKenzie. As a very young boy, he would go through a basement window in the Presbyterian Church in Silver Creek, NY, where he taught himself how to play the pipe organ. At age 12, he was the organist for the church choir. In 1960, after moving to Fort Covington, he was an organist and pianist for the Senior High Choir at Salmon River Central School for several years. In the 1960s he and Norma Bergeron performed duo-piano concerts at the high school. He was the organist for several churches in Franklin County over the years, lastly, at St Mark's Episcopal Church in Malone. Don organized the first Franklin County Ecumenical Choir for the benefit of the American Cancer Society, sponsored by the Alice Hyde Hospital Nursing Department, and directed by Mrs. Norma Bergeron, with a 70 member choir and brass quintet from the Crane School of Music from Potsdam, on November 17th, 1985, at St Joseph's Church in Malone. He later studied piano at Crane. Don had a lifelong love of classical music, especially Brahms. Don graduated from the Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science in Syracuse in 1958, and moved to Ft. Covington where he co-founded the Cappiello and McKenzie Funeral Home. In 1973, he and Richard Avery purchased the Desnoyers Funeral Service in Malone, later selling both of the funeral homes. In 1976, he received his Registered Nurse degree from St. Lawrence College in Cornwall, Ontario and his New York State RN license in the same year. He began working for Dr. David Gorman in Malone, and after receiving his Nurse Practitioner's certificate in 1978, from Community-General Hospital in Syracuse, he and Dr. Choi, from Massena formed the first obstetric and gynecology clinic on the St. Regis Reservation. Don later, in 1980, completed the postgraduate program in Physician Assistants from Hahnamann Medical College and Hospital School in Philadelphia, PA, specializing in Colposcopy in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Don retired from Alice Hyde Hospital in Malone in 2008, at the age of 72, where he had worked in the operating room as a scrub and circulating nurse, the recovery room, the pediatrics department, and in the emergency room. Along with the continual passion for education and music, he was an astute observer of the financial markets for 50 years. Don enjoyed traveling to Europe, especially Italy, where he went 19 times. As a hobby, he loved preparing private gourmet dinners in friend’s homes for several years. One of his recent joys was being told by the Westville Fire Department that they considered him part of their family. A special thank you to Dr. Anjni Bhagat for your loving care for so many years, and to Shelley, Nicole and Shannon from Hospice. There are no survivors. Burial will be private in Riverside Cemetery, Westville. Don’s request was that there be no memorial donations, or services. Cremation is under the direction of Cory Ross of the Cappiello and McKenzie Funeral Home in Ft. Covington.
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cappiello-McKenzie & Cosgrove Funeral Home
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Don McKenzie

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Don McKenzie

1936 - 2023

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