Gordon E. McKenzie
Gordon McKenzie, 86, and 51 year resident of Great Neck, NY, passed away suddenly on Friday, July 19th 2013 from complications arising from an inflamed gall bladder. McKenzie was a two-time Olympian and lifelong supporter of athletics. Gordon ran for the NY Pioneer Club and his long athletic career included representing the USA (1953) in England where he met his Eng…read more
Gordon McKenzie, 86, and 51 year resident of Great Neck, NY, passed away suddenly on Friday, July 19th 2013 from complications arising from an inflamed gall bladder. McKenzie was a two-time Olympian and lifelong supporter of athletics. Gordon ran for the NY Pioneer Club and his long athletic career included representing the USA (1953) in England where he met his English-born wife, Chris Slemon (British World Record holder in the 880 yards and first woman to run up Mt. Washington); National AAU Cross Country Champion (1954); representing the USA in the Pan American Games in Mexico City (1955); setting a USA record for the 10, 000 meters in the 1956 Olympic games in Melbourne; placing 2nd in the Boston Marathon (1960); competing in the 1960 Olympic marathon in Rome; placing 4th in the Boston Marathon (1961); winning the Atlantic City marathon (1961); inducted in the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Hall of Fame, Atlanta, GA (1984); inducted in the NYU Athletic Hall of Fame, NY, NY (2003).
McKenzie, a veteran of World II, graduated from NYU in 1952 and went on to work as a civil engineer for the City of NY for 37 years. Gordon’s passion for athletics was not confined to track and field; he held the title of Light Weight Boxing Champion in the Army while stationed in Panama and enjoyed being a lifeguard at Orchard Beach NY. Always with athletics in his life, Gordon also worked as a Nassau County Track and Field official for 35 years. He and his wife, a track coach for Great Neck South for over 30 years, volunteered as coaches for the local CYO and PBC, earning commendations for their untiring and devoted inspiration and contribution on behalf of the youth of our community. The McKenzies have dedicated their lives to being leaders in their Great Neck community. Chris McKenzie broke barriers by being the first woman to run longer than 220 yards in the USA. Together they coached local youth track teams, spoke at high schools, participated in the Special Olympics, and mentored young athletes. In 2007, Gordon was presented with a Proclamation of Appreciation from the Great Neck Board of Trustees in appreciation for over 50 years of community service.
Gordon was an amazing and devoted family man whose love and support for his family was unparalleled. Always the picture of health and strength, just two weeks ago he was zip lining, camping, and hiking with his wife, children, and grandchildren in Kentucky. He is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Chris, their three children Tina (Managing Geologist at O’Brien & Gere and Crofton Athletic Council basketball coach), Adam (teacher at Lakeville Elementary school and Great Neck North track coach), and Stuart (Sergeant at the Ulster County Sheriff’s Office and the Town of Shandaken Police Department); his brother Thomas of San Jose Costa Rica; and his seven grandchildren (Sean, Kate, Gordon, Alex, Maggie, Kallie, and Andrew) and his two faithful dogs Rex and Copper. The void left in our hearts will never be filled.
Donations in his memory may be made to : Prospect Park Youth Running Club: 317 Greenwood Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11218hide
Time: 03:00 pm - 05:00 pm
Time: 07:00 pm - 09:00 pm
Fairchild Funeral Chapel
Time: 11:00 am
All Saints Cemetery
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