Mr. Ronald Larry McKenzie was born July 10, 1943, in Vidalia, Georgia to Wilfred and Tossie McKenzie. He was the last of their four sons.
Ronnie graduated from Vidalia High School in 1961. After high school graduation, he worked, served in the U.S. Army, and attended Brewton-Parker and Middle Georgia Colleges. After he was ordained as a minister, he attended Baptist Bible Institute. He worked, preached at small churches, and continued his education at Stetson University and Southeastern Baptist Seminary. While he was studying at seminary, he was pastor of Berry’s Grove Baptist Church in North Carolina. After he finished seminary, he was pastor at Brown Memorial Baptist Church in Wrightsville, Georgia, before moving to Jacksonville, Florida in 1975 to become pastor at Southside Estates Baptist Church. While he was pastor at SSEBC, he went back to school and earned his Doctor of Divinity degree. During his ministry, SSEBC outgrew its location. In the 1990’s, the church bought 35 acres in an undeveloped area of Kernan Road. The church built a sanctuary, family life center, outside pavilion and ball fields. The church celebrated the first service at that location on August 1, 1999. Ronnie was pastor at that church for 34 years. He retired in 2009 to take care of his beloved wife, Sylvia, who was ill.
Ronnie was a beloved pastor, a loving husband and father, a true friend. He had a magnetic personality and drew people to him. He had the uncanny ability of being able to meet people at their point of need. He also loved to joke and have fun.
Ronnie was preceded in death by his wife, Sylvia McKenzie; parents, two brothers, Max McKenzie (Ethelyn) and Theron McKenzie (Ruby Joyce); and a son-in-law, Tim Smith.
Survivors include his wife, Cuba Spivey McKenzie; three daughters, Rhonda McKenzie Smith of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Rene McKenzie Crook and husband William of Jacksonville, Florida, and Lashan McKenzie Wolfe and husband Andrew of Kingsland, Georgia; eight grandchildren, Beth Shaw and husband Bruce, Luke Smith and wife Emilee, Caleb Smith and wife Tessa, Jacob Smith, Ethan Crook and wife Lindsay, Zac Crook, Jackson Wolfe, and Levi Wolfe; three great-grandchildren; one brother, Glen McKenzie and wife Geraldine of Vidalia; one aunt, Nelma Cowen of Greenwood, South Carolina; Cuba’s two children, Jan McKay and Bill Bernatis and Nick McKay; and many nieces and nephews.
Because of the pandemic restrictions, a family-only memorial service will be held on Wednesday, January 13th, in the chapel of Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home.
The service will be streamed on the Facebook page at Ronald V. Hall Funeral Home, Vidalia, GA.
Family burial will be at Hardage-Giddens Chapel Hills Cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida.
The family requests no flowers. Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Hospice Foundation, P.O. Box 2277, Vidalia, GA 30475, or Alzheimer’s Disease Research, P.O.
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