May 25, 1934 – November 20, 2020
Loyce Cain McKenzie, a respected educator and gardener, passed away on November 20, 2020 at her home in Madison, MS with her son Kevin and granddaughter Ashley at her side. Loyce, the daughter of Methodist Historian, Rev. J.B. Cain and Amy McNeil Cain, was born on May 25, 1934. She graduated from Canton High School and Belhaven College where she majored in English Literature. She taught English for many years at Belhaven College and later at Madison Central High School, where she received multiple Star Teacher Awards. She was a leader of the Academic Competition Program at Madison Central through which she expanded educational opportunities for students with her characteristic energy and commitment. Loyce also taught Physical Education at First Presbyterian Church Day School during the years her son was a student there. In 1959, Loyce married Herman Lamar McKenzie in Magnolia, MS, the home of her parents at that time. Herman and Loyce were married 48 years until Herman passed away in 2017. In 1963, the McKenzies moved to Jackson and built a home on the northwest side, where they played a key role in establishing Aldersgate Methodist Church. In 1968, they welcomed their only child Kevin into the family and began a routine of summer trips to the Smoky Mountains and Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA. In 1973, the McKenzies became dedicated members of Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church, where Loyce supported Herman in his teaching of the Watkins-Griffith Bible Class for 41 years. In 1985, they bought land in south Madison county and built a new home designed by their son, much of it with the labor of their own hands. Through the years, Loyce filled her days with many interests but none more important than spending time with family – especially her son Kevin, granddaughter Ashley, and great-grandson Mason. Loyce was an avid reader and sports enthusiast. She is perhaps best known for her love of gardening, and specifically her keen interest in daffodils. She wrote a column for The Northside Sun newspaper entitled “Gardening Glimpses” for almost 50 years, and she was a valued member of the American Daffodil Society throughout her adult life. It was through this organization that she developed many lifelong friends who shared her common interests. She has received numerous commendations for her grace, guidance, and support of the society. She attended Daffodil Conventions all over the United States, and she served as editor of The Daffodil Journal for many years. She cultivated numerous varieties of daffodils in her own garden. She counts among her most treasured experiences her trips to Europe and New Zealand to visit many of the magnificent gardens. After living in an assisted living facility where she was surrounded by flowers, as well as pictures of family, she returned to her home in Madison. May she find rest now in the most beautiful heavenly garden imaginable. Loyce is survived by her son Kevin McKenzie of Madison, MS, granddaughter Ashley McKenzie, and great-grandson, Mason. She is preceded in death by her parents Rev. and Mrs. J.B. Cain, her brother Neil Cain who died before she was born, and her husband Herman Lamar McKenzie. A graveside funeral service will be held at 1:00 PM on Wednesday at Parkway Memorial Cemetery in Ridgeland, MS. Visitation to be announced. To share a memory, visit www.parkwayfuneralhomeridgeland.com.
Graveside Funeral Service
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
November 25, 2020
Mrs. McKenzie was my high school English teacher and academic competition coach. I had just moved to Mississippi and was fortunate to be placed in her class. I think my high school experience would have been much lessened if I had not met her. She was a phenomenal English teacher, teaching us such a broad spectrum of English literature. I always felt that I got a world class literature education because of her. She was a great mentor to all of us on the academic competition team. She touched so many young lives at MCHS. My condolences to her family
November 25, 2020
It is a great honor to play my bagpipes at the graveside service today. I pray God's richest blessing and comfort to all the friends and family members of this grand lady. My deepest condolences to you all.
Linda Rankin Irby
November 24, 2020
My prayers for comfort go to you all. Loyce was a friend from the Central Mississippi Daffodil Society. Maxine Rankin, my mother, who introduced me to Loyce in the CMDS, sends her condolences. We have many happy memories with that group, which was made possible by Loyce’s hard work and devotion.
November 24, 2020
Mrs. McKenzie was the best teacher! She pushed us all to achieve the highest and never settle for less! I still have my notes from her class, some 20 plus years later!!She was definitely a teacher that went above and beyond and I’m so thankful for her passion and dedication to education! Praying for peace and comfort during this time!
November 23, 2020
Ms. McKenzie was one of the kindest and most supportive people I knew.
I met her when I was a freshman at Madison-Ridgeland HS and participated in the quiz bowl team. Her all-encompassing joy and enthusiasm was a blessing to us, and I have incredibly fond memories of our trip to New Orleans in 1989 for the national competition. Through it all, there was not just a kindly grandmother figure, but a steely competitor.
Ms. McKenzie taught us sophomore English in 1989-90 , and I remember a great deal about that class. I also remember two occasions when I gave her (to her) disappointing news, and in both cases she was as gracious and supportive as I could imagine, though I could sense her wishing things might have gone another way.
Six years later, I reconnected with Ms. McKenzie when I started teaching HS, and coaching quiz bowl at another school. She was a tremendous mentor, offering our (newly-created) team the use of equipment and resources, and offering us friendly matches against her seasoned group.
Finally, as an adult, I connected with Ms. McKenzie on Facebook, and she offered kind advice on my outdoor projects.
She was a joyful person and all of us are better for having known her.
November 22, 2020
I didn’t know my favorite teacher & coach as Loyce, just “Mrs. McKenzie,” in Greenwood, MS. She was a wonderful motivator and unforgettable person in my life. I didn’t get to ever see her again after she & Mr. McKenzie moved to the Jackson area, but I learned she and I shared a love of gardening and that she and I both have sons named Kevin. Our paths never crossed at any flower shows unfortunately - but she has remained in my heart all these years. I called her before my 50th high school reunion to tell her how special she was to me.
November 22, 2020
Mrs. McKenzie was a great teacher with a compassionate heart. She gave me one of my most memorable English assignments; writing a journal from the perspective of a great - grandparent. Some of what I imagined in that pretend journal has come to fruition in my own life. I’m so grateful that she inspired me to use my imagination in a way I would never have thought to. She was one of a kind, and a delight!
Becky Fox Matthews
November 22, 2020
I first met Loyce at a Hernando MS daffodil show. She became a dear friend to me over many years. However, at the first daffodil convention I attended, one of the daffodil gurus from my local group in Nashville was introducing me to an esteemed daffodil hybridizer from Northern Ireland and told him "Loyce McKenzie taught Becky everything she knows about daffodils." I can only guess that he just assumed this because he knew I had grown up in Mississippi. When I apologetically told Loyce of this, her response was "That's OK, honey. I'll claim you anyway." This photo is from 2012 when we were roommates on a 21-day bus tour of New Zealand - a trip of a lifetime I was privileged to enjoy with Loyce. With loving thoughts to Kevin, Ashley, Mason and all of Loyce's friends who will miss her presence as I will.
November 21, 2020
Loyce and I were friends more than 50 years. We were both school teachers and shared the love of gardening. It was Loyce who encouraged me to grow daffodils which led to many trips to daffodil conventions together. We were both Methodists and she and Herman and I shared the same pew every Sunday followed by lunch to catch up on family news. Since we both have had health problems for several years our visits have not need possible and I have missed her. She will always be in my heart.