A.Donald McKenzie, 88, of Union, passed away on Monday, December 31, 2012. Born in Schenectady, New York in 1924, he was educated in the Roselle, New Jersey school system. He moved to Union in 1944, where he lived for 60 years, before moving to Maplewood in 2004. He was a graduate of Rutgers University, where he played on the Varsity baseball and football teams, and became a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He was also a member of the chess team. Donald graduated from the Cornell Law School and entered private law practice in Union, where he was a partner in the firm of McKenzie and Hehl. He was an Assistant County Attorney for Union County, and served as counsel to John K. Runnells Hospital. He was a member of the N.J. State Bar Association and the Union County Bar Association, where he served on the Ethics and Grievances Committee. In 1970, he was appointed to the Union County District Court where he served as Presiding Judge. He was subsequently appointed to the Union County Court and the New Jersey Superior Court where he served until he retired in 1991. In 1992, he was appointed a recall judge and continued to serve in Union County until 2002.
Donald McKenzie was an avid golfer, and was credited with a hole in one on three occasions. He was a long time member of Suburban Golf Club in Union, and was one of the founders of Warrenbrook Country Club in Warren, New Jersey.
He was a devotee of jazz throughout his life, and served as vice president of the New Jersey Jazz Society. While serving on the bench, under a pseudonym, he wrote a column for its monthly publication. He presented a continuing series of jazz programs for the residents at the retirement community to which he moved, utilizing his vast collection of jazz music. He was a member of the Revelers of Union and served as a play judge and counsel to the New Jersey Theatre League. He was a member of the Optimist Club of Union, and became an Honor President. He was also a founder of the Union Historical Society. After his retirement, he served as a volunteer at Union Hospital. He was also a literary tutor with Literacy Volunteers of Union County.
He was predeceased by his wife of 48 years, Margaret (nee: Westberg). He is survived by his daughters Nancy Diesel and her husband Robert, Karen Robinson and her husband Mark; sons Alan McKenzie and Yoke Phin Cheang; companion Alice Kiehl; and his four legged grandchildren Nikki, Thomas, Hannah, Bozo, Sweet Pea, William and Maggie.
A Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 11am at the Connecticut Farms Church 888 Stuyvesant Ave., Union. Interment will take place in the Church Cemetery. There will be a visitation on Friday from 2-4 & 7-9pm at the Bradley, Haeberle & Barth Funeral Home 1100 Pine Ave., Union. For more info, or to send condolences to the family, visit www.bradleyfuneralhomes.com . in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Margaret W. McKenzie Benevolent Fund at Connecticut Farms 888 Stuyvesant Ave., Union NJ 07083.
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