Mrs. Lilia B. McKenzie
- age 79, passed away on May 2, 2019 at her home in Clermont, Florida. Her final days were spent with her loved ones at her side.
Mrs. Mckenzie was born on November 28, 1939 in the town of Rio Abajo, Republic of Panama, Central America. She obtained a diploma in secretarial science from Academia Mercantil de Panama in 1959. She migrated to the U.S. on September 2,1962. A few weeks after arriving in the U.S. she joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church through baptism .She married her high school sweetheart on November 24, 1962. Her husband was drafted into the U.S. Army in July, 1963, and following his basic training at Fort Sam Houston in Texas they moved to the Washington, D.C. area where he worked at the Walter Reed Medical Center and she worked at the Washington Sanitarium as a nursing assistant.
Following her husband’s discharge from the Army in July, 1965 her husband enrolled in Columbia Union College, graduating in August, 1967. Lilia’s work at the Sanitarium was the primary financial support for the family during her husband’s two years at CUC.
Following her husband’s graduation from CUC they returned to California for his graduate studies and she worked as a nursing assistant at the White Memorial Hospital, in Los Angeles, and Loma Linda Hospital, in Loma Linda.
Following her husband’s completion of his doctoral studies at The University of Southern California in 1979 the family began 11 years of mission service in Africa. During that entire period Lilia contributed immensely to the mission of the church by using her secretarial training in various positions: in Nigeria at The Adventist Seminary of West Africa (now Babcock University); in Zimbabwe at Solusi College (now Solusi University); and in Kenya at The University of Eastern Africa. She was an indispensable support to her husband who served as president of those three institutions. Her warmth, friendliness, graciousness, and wisdom helped to carry the family through some very trying experiences during their mission service.
The family returned to the United States in August, 1991 and served at Oakwood College (now Oakwood University). Dr.McKenzie chaired the Education Department for 9 years and Mrs. Mckenzie serced as an assistant to the librarian during that same period. She retired in July, 2000 when she and her husband moved to Florida.
Mrs. McKenzie is survived by her husband, Dr.Roland McKenzie; her two sons, Rolaant McKenzie (Mildred), and Dr.Mark McKenzie; two brothers, Gerald Newland (in Panama), and Dr.Rolando Newland (in Mississippi); two sisters, Yvonne Newland (in Panama), and Argelia Newland de Rosas (in Mexico).
Mrs. McKenzie, like the virtuous woman described in Proverbs 31, worked diligently to provide a value-added Seventh-Adventist education to her two sons. Her travels in many countries (in the Americas, in Africa, in Europe, and in Asia) gave her a deep appreciation for the intrinsic value of every version of the human family. She loved gardening and was blessed with a “Green Thumb” Her favorite hymn was Onward Christian Soldiers. Now she rests awaiting the call of the Lifegiver. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. And please, come quickly.