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George A. Smith & Sons Funeral Home

2812 North Highland, Jackson, TN

OBITUARY

Cleatus Ray McKenzie Sr.

October 25, 1934January 3, 2020
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Cleatus Ray McKenzie, Sr., known as “Mac” and “Mr. Fix It” was born October 25, 1934 and welcomed into Heaven on January 3, 2020 after many battles with illness and severe pain.

With all his heart he loved the Lord, family, and fellow men with honesty, kindness, and integrity. He truly practiced the Golden Rule with everyone he met.

As a little boy, Cleatus turned ordinary toys into extraordinary ones, like putting a motor on his bike and giving himself a much desired motorcycle. All the kids in his area brought their broken trikes, wagons, and bikes for him to fix. He continued to invent and repair things all his life.

In J.B. Young High School, he thrived on teaching roller skating at the Bemis Skating Rink. He was amazing on them. He also got a permanent in his hair, and unfortunately lost part of a finger in shop. After attending Union University for a few semesters, he became a machinist for the railroad. When that phased out, he got into retail with the Woolworth Company and quickly became assistant manager and on to manager. He took several leaves from the company but returned to that career until they closed all stores. TG&Y was his next choice, until all their stores closed.

He proudly gave his best in the U.S. Army serving as a tank technician during the Korean War, earning much respect, and was honorably discharged. He also served in the National Guard for several years. He enjoyed taking his daughter to Father Daughter Events and spent many pleasurable hours with our son repairing and restoring his cars. Occasionally he got to go fishing.

He served the Lord for years as a Sunday School teacher, RA Boys, and loved singing in the choir. Hymns and gospel music were always his favorite.

He enjoyed educational courses and excelled in all of them. During the early 90’s he became owner and Technician of Appliance Express with many loyal customers in Memphis and Jackson. Health issues forced his retirement around 2010.

A very witty guy was he, much to the entertainment in our family, especially our grandchildren. He never lost that and we keenly listened for what came out our of his mouth. He was a wonderful husband, Dad, and Gramps.

Cleatus was preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Alva McKenzie of Bemis, TN; brothers, Wallace McKenzie of Bemis, Robern Eugene “Gene” McKenzie of Jackson; half sister, Marie Ansley of Texas; a very close mother-in-law, Ruby Vantreese Wood; and step father in law, Bob Wood of Jackson.

He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of a lifetime (played together as children), Jean Vantreese McKenzie; the apple of his eye, daughter, Debbie Simcox (Mike) of Olive Branch, MS; dream come true son, Randy “Cleatus, Jr.” McKenzie (Carol Ann) of Hernando, MS; four special grandsons, Chad Simcox (Cindy) of Littleton, CO, Brandon Simcox (Jen) of Nashville, TN, Randy C. McKenzie of Hernando, MS, and Justin Ray McKenzie (Anna Grace) of Hernando, MS; great grandson, Michael Simcox of Littleton, CO and one week old great granddaughter, Mila McKenzie of Hernando, MS; beloved sisters-in-law, Doris K. McKenzie of Jackson, TN and Virginia Morris of Lexington, TN; stepbrothers-in-law, Michael Wood of West Palm Beach, FL and Bob Wood of the Arlington, Virginia area ; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

The family will receive friends and loved ones at a period of visitation from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at the North Chapel of George A. Smith and Sons. The funeral service is to commence at 12 p.m. Interment will follow the service with military honors at the Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery at Parker’s Crossroads.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Joshi and his staff and Dr. Homberg and staff for their concerns and care for our beloved one.

Services

  • Visitation with Friends and Loved Ones Thursday, January 9, 2020
  • The Funeral Service Thursday, January 9, 2020

Memories

Cleatus Ray McKenzie Sr.

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