NLJ Staff

Nov. 1, 1937–Nov. 1, 2018

Robert Murray McKenzie passed away peacefully at Close To Home Hospice House in Gillette, Wyo., on Nov. 1, 2018, at the age of 81 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.  

Murray was born on Nov. 1, 1937 in Brandon, Manitoba, to Robert and Annie (Houston) McKenzie. He grew up on the family farm near Nesbitt, Manitoba. He loved the farm and enjoyed working with livestock, especially the horses. After high school, he moved to Alida, Saskatchewan, where his brothers Archie and Bill resided. While living in Alida, he drove a freight truck for Archie and worked as a carpenter. 

He began working for Kissinger Oil Company in May 1968 and his crew moved to Gillette. It was in Gillette where he met the love of his life, Lucy Cummings. They were married in 1970 and the same year welcomed a daughter, Heather, into the world. Over the next several years he worked in the oil field, the logging industry and eventually began his career as a contractor. His love for logging and construction inspired him to build his own log home. This was the first of many that he built. He loved having his home full of family, love and laughter. Many memories were made teaching the grandchildren and great-grandchildren to garden and build things from wood. He was a very talented woodworker and built many gifts for his family which will be cherished forever. 

Murray’s family and friends remember him as a kind and gentle soul who would go above and beyond to help others. He loved his community and believed that Upton truly was the “Best Town on Earth.” He loved sports and was very proud of the women’s softball team he coached that made it to nationals in Las Cruces, N.M. He also enjoyed watching his daughter and granddaughters participate in various sports and music programs. 

His compassionate heart led to the family hosting an exchange student for one year, and Ann-Charlotte “Lotta Swahn” Nyman has been family ever since. He cherished her and her family dearly.

Murray’s daughter, granddaughters and great-grandchildren were the pride and joy of Murray’s life. The legacy of Murray’s kind spirit, optimistic “glass is half full” attitude, love of nature, and zest for life will live on through them. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.   

Murray is survived by his wife, Lucy McKenzie; daughter, Heather (Phil) Harvey; granddaughters, Brittany (Phillip) Dorson, Kristen Erickson, and Nichole (Jeff) Wood; great-grandchildren, Desmond, Mya June, Jaxon, Autumn and Brody; sisters, Emma Weins and Ruth (Bob) Bell; brothers, Bill (Lil) McKenzie, Lorne (Lorraine) McKenzie and Wayne (Wanda) McKenzie; sisters-in-law, Marie McKenzie, Willie McKenzie and Sandy Wiebe; brother-in-law, John Hart; and numerous nieces and nephews.  

He is preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Archie McKenzie, Don McKenzie and Chuck McKenzie; and his sister, Anna Mae McKenzie.  

A private gathering will be held at a later date. Condolences can be sent to Lucy McKenzie, P.O. Box 684, Upton, WY 82730.


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