Don “Chickie, Doc” MacKenzie, Pictou Landing, died
suddenly in his sleep at home on Jan
26, 2020. Don was born on July 4, 1950
in New Glasgow, to William and Janet (MacIntosh) MacKenzie, the
12 th of 13
children. After leaving school and working in
several jobs he began a career in broadcasting, working in radio
stations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Ontario.
At aged 22 Don decided a military career was what he wanted
and joined the Canadian Armed Forces. After completing Basic Training,
he was sent to Camp Borden for Trade training. While at Borden he met
his future wife, Marion. They were married on April
20th 1974 in Norwich, England. They
started married life based at CFB Namao in Alberta, they then made a
move to Goose Bay, Labrador, where their son Matthew was born (1976).
While in Goose Bay Don began his lifelong hobby as an Amateur Radio
Operator, obtaining his licence in both Morse Code and Voice. He was
never happier than when he was sitting in his “Ham Shack”
talking to people around the world. As a true “Ham” he was
often to be found adjusting his antennas often in the worst weather
conditions and when questioned. Would reply “that’s
what Hams do”! Marion often called to assist by holding the end
of several metres of cable while he made adjustments.
After two years on “the Goose” another posting this
time to Summerside, PEI. where sons Daniel (1978) and Adam (1980) were
born. With their young family in tow Don and Marion moved to Lahr,
Germany. While there Don reprised his broadcasting career,
volunteering as an announcer on the Canadian Forces Radio
network. He also learned to play the Pipes and
joined the CFB Lahr Pipes and Drums. They performed in Germany and
several other European countries. After four happy years the family
were on the move again, this time heading to CFB Uplands, Ottawa,
where Don was posted to 412 VIP Squadron. After further training he
was awarded his “wings” as a Loadmaster, he flew over 3000
hours with 412. Some of his passengers included, the Queen Mother,
Princess Margaret, Prince Charles, Princess of Wales and the Princes
William and Harry, more than one Prime Minister, Governors General,
Ambassadors from many countries as well as numerous Top
He was known as the go to guy, when a service family member
was trying to get a seat on the weekly flight from Ottawa to
Newfoundland. He was famous for his scrounging ability to get almost
anything, requested, calling in owed favours to obtain it. Don left
412 after 8 years, one of the longest serving loadies in the
Next came CFB Trenton, Ont where he joined 2 Air Movements
Unit where he with his coworkers would build and load cargo for
shipping across Canada and around the world. While with 2 AMU he was
sent on several relief missions including trips to Kenya, Russia and
Italy for Bosnia.
After 23 years of service the ‘Brass’
decided it was time for a UN Peacekeeping Mission. Don spent 6 months
wearing the Blue Beret in the Golan Heights, Israel/Syria. After
returning to Trenton, he worked Base Ops. Not having had enough of the
heat he volunteered for a second tour with the UN, returning to the
In 2002 Don retired after 30 years of service to his country,
and he and Marion took their retirement posting to move back home to
Pictou County. Don joined the Reserves serving with144 Construction
Engineering Flight, staying with them for two years.
In retirement Don enjoyed his radio, fishing and walking
Spencer, his furry four-legged nephew. He would head to Tim Hortons to
shoot the breeze with the regulars, and he was never to be found
without at least one open book.
Despite being required to be away frequently, he treasured
the time he had with his boys while they were growing up. The annual
car ride from Ontario to New Glasgow provided the family with many
remember when moments.
Don looked forward to his summer visits with grandson Wyatt
and was over the moon to meet his granddaughter Autumn.
He is survived by wife of 45 years, Marion (Cooper)
and sons: Matthew (Amy), Daniel (Samantha) and Adam; and treasured
grandchildren: Wyatt and Autumn; brothers: Bill, Gary and Phillip;
sisters: Joan Bartlett, Marie Doucette, Judy Kennaely (Jim), Carol
Woods and Orpha Woods., and many extended family members. He was
predeceased by his parents, brothers: Wayne and Weldon; and sisters:
Shirley, Joyce and Lorraine and granddaughter Serena in
Visitation 2-4 and 7-9 pm Friday, January 31, in the R.H.
Porter Funeral Home, 55 Almont Ave., New Glasgow. Funeral mass 1 pm
Saturday, February 1, in St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church,
New Glasgow, with Father Tom MacNeil officiating. Family flowers only
please. Donations in his memory may be made to a charity of choice.
St. John the Baptist CWL will meet at the funeral home at 1:30 pm
Friday for prayers.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Don MacKenzie 19502020..
Death notice for the town of: Trenton, Province: Nova Scotia