Eva “Elaine” McKenzie had a glorious run of her 101 years. She was born Eva “Elaine” Thompson in Blythedale, Missouri on 7/11/1917 and grew up in Eagleville, Missouri on the Iowa border with older sister Neva and younger sister Mary. Tragically, their mother died in 1920, at the end of the “Spanish flu” epidemic, she was raised by her father James Clarence and her “aunt” Maude. She met her future husband Roy at the University of Missouri in Kansas City (she was impressed that he owned a car) with marriage 12/17/39. They moved to Minnesota where he worked in the munitions plant and took evening classes in chemical engineering to put her through her undergraduate and then medical school at the University of Minnesota where she earned her MD in 1946 as a general practitioner. She practiced at the Rice Street Clinic and admitted patients to Bethesda Hospital in St. Paul. She studied for 2 years and passed her boards to become one of the first certified in the new specialty “Family Practice.” With the help of her “housekeeper” of 18 years Singhild Peterson she and Roy raised their 3 children Stuart William, Ann Catherine, and Douglas Edward. Stuart had a career with the air force and as an airline pilot, Ann and Doug both took after their mother as Family Practitioners.
Elaine was very active with the Minnesota Medical Society, she was a Sorority mother for years.She enjoyed maintaining her special acre of woods in North Oaks, Minnesota, landscaping, weeding, planting ferns, and digging “pond muck” to make a very fertile point in North Mallard Pond. She also enjoyed feeding her many birds, chipmunks, and deer. After retirement in 1982 she and Roy devoted their energy to birdwatching, travelling the country with their daughter Ann and then the world on birding tours. They moved to the retirement community Waverly Gardens north of St. Paul in 2006, where she enjoyed birdwatching, reading, and watching her cats. Her husband Roy died at 97 years old in 2011. Stuart moved her to Portage Pointe in Hancock in July 2015 and her son Doug and his family gave her abundant family time with daily visits and Sunday family dinners at Doug’s home as recently as 2 weeks before her death. She took no nutrition or fluids for 11 days, many hugs were given, farewells spoken, somehow deep in her dementia she managed to stay alive until her medical student granddaughter Erin arrived from Lansing for a hug on the night of 12/26/18. She peacefully took a last breath at 4:56 AM on 12/27/18.
She was preceded in death by her mother Ethel, her father James Clarence, her sisters Neva and Mary, and her husband Roy. She is survived by her son Stuart in Colorado and Florida, her daughter Ann in Wabasha, Minnesota, and her son Douglas in Hancock, Michigan. She has 4 granddaughters, 3 grandsons, and 2 great granddaughters. She was a loving mother and wife with a character of strength and grace, she was a beloved, competent physician, she loved her family and animals, she enhanced and touched many lives.
Special thanks to the aides and nurses and activity directors at Portage Pointe, to her NP Deborah Lorenz, and her physician Dr. Terry Kinzel. Everyone treated her with great respect and dignity, making her last year’s comfortable and full of love.
Per Eva’s request, no services will be held. To view Eva’s obituary or to send condolences to the family, please visit www.memorialchapel.net.
The Memorial Chapel & Plowe Funeral Homes of Hancock are assisting the family with the arrangements.