Leonard Willis McKenzie, age 83, of Evening Shade passed away Saturday, August 14, 2021. He was born on Oct. 19, 1937 in Waterford, Mississippi. Leonard was a 1954 graduate of Santa Cruz Valley High School in Eloy, AZ. He attended college and took flying lessons in AZ but relocated to Barstow, California where he was a fireman and engineer for Santa Fe and Amtrak Railroads. Being color blind, he figured out and memorized how to make things work to be successful in his careers.
He moved the family to Evening Shade, Arkansas in February 1965 to join his parents, Charles A. (Mac) and Gertrude McKenzie on their Piney Creek farm. Leonard raised cattle and premium alfalfa crops which were fastidiously irrigated each season. He had a venturesome spirit and raised milo grain for the family to make sorghum molasses. Leonard also raised several varieties of grapes on his 7 acre vineyard for several years. Some of his hobbies included building a hot rod pick-up truck and he was an avid Falconer for several years. He trained and hunted Red-tailed and Cooper’s hawks. Leonard often rehabilitated injured birds-birds-of-prey (hawks, falcons, owls, eagles) back to the wild in assistance to the game warden. He was very mechanically gifted and worked as a riverboat chief engineer for many years. He was also a farmer, rancher and postal mail contractor. His favorite past-time was reading books and Leonard read just about everything that crossed his path. He loved to laugh, tell stories, jokes, and somewhat of a prankster. From early childhood, Leonard always had at least one dog companion and never hesitated to assist or rescue a dog.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles A .and M. Gertrude McKenzie of Evening Shade. Virginia Lee Earls McKenzie, his beautiful wife also preceded Leonard in death and it was his dream to be with her again.
Leonard is survived by son, Charles L. McKenzie (Debbie) of Evening Shade; daughter, Dr. Diana L. McKenzie of Cabot; his sister, Judy McKenzie Jaeger of Batesville; grandchildren, Aaron McKenzie, Rachael McKenzie of Batesville, Tori M. Moore of Fayetteville, and McKenzie C. Moore of UA Fayetteville, AR. Leonard is also survived by very special sister-in-law, Sharon Earls Koch who just recently moved to Ash Flat and also Sandra White of Coffeeville, KS.; nephews Stewart Runsick and Scottie Runsick; step grandchildren and great grandchildren and other loving family members.
Graveside memorial services are tentatively scheduled for Sunday, August 22, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. at the Evening Shade Cemetery. Arrangements are by Qualls Funeral Home of Cave City.