Craig Allan McKenzie

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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Craig Allan McKenzie, 56 years old from Houston, Texas, passed away on February 14, 2024 surrounded by family and loved ones.

He was born on November 8, 1967 in Port Arthur, Texas to Emmett Hardin McKenzie and Shirley Ann McKenzie.

He had two brothers and one sister, David, Dean, and Kathy.

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After graduating from Alvin High School in 1985, he went to Lamar University to study accounting and later received his Chartered Public Accountant certification.

Post-college, he moved to Houston, Texas to work for Coopers & Lybrand as a Public Accountant, where he stayed for 6 years.

He then continued his career at Hines, where he served for 20 years, eventually becoming Senior Vice President for their Emerging Markets business.

Craig married Sharon Lynn McDaniel in 1989 and they had three children, Erin, Meredith, and James.

Craig was heavily involved in his children’s lives, from coaching sports teams to taking memorable Texas Hill Country vacations together. He and Sharon were active members of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, where their children were all confirmed and participated in the youth group.

Craig enjoyed an active life and was always a talented athlete. He was a star basketball player in high school and continued playing the sport competitively well into his forties. He also loved watching and following professional Houston sports teams, as well as the Baylor Bears and the UT Longhorns.

Standing 6’5” tall, with a quick smile and a ready laugh, Craig was larger than life. Intelligent, witty, personable and self-confident, he effortlessly attracted others to him creating a warm circle of friends and family that he cherished.

He poured his energy into his children’s lives and only needed the slightest opening in a conversation to brag about them. His work took him to many countries and he loved to tell tales of his many trips to Brazil, China and India to mention a few.

As Craig’s health declined and he became dependent on others we were often amazed at how his caregivers came to love him and care deeply about him. We were once thanking a caregiver for their kindness toward him and she said, “He makes it easy.”

Even as the cruelty of fronto-temporal dementia stole his mind, his career and his independence, his huge heart only became more apparent and he remained the kind, gentle person that was his true nature.

With an eager handshake and a huge smile he was referred to as “the mayor” of the memory care communities in which he lived. In life, in poor health and even in death, Craig brought people together and made his corner of the world a better place.

Craig is preceded in death by his father, Emmett McKenzie. He is survived by his three children, Erin Fenton (husband Will), Meredith First (husband Jeremy), and James McKenzie; his mother, Shirley McKenzie; his grandchildren, Emery Fenton and Jonah First; his siblings, David McKenzie (wife Carrie), Dean McKenzie (wife Laurie), and Kathy Cagle (husband Steve); and many extended relatives and close friends.

Friends and family are invited to gather for a Memorial Service at 2:00 pm on February 29, 2024 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 5501 Main Street in Houston. A private burial will take place at Memory Gardens of Jefferson County in Nederland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.

Thank you to the staff at the Farrington in Tanglewood and the Silverado Hermann Park Memory Care Community, Colin Als, Robby McGowen, and Dean and Laurie McKenzie for the wonderful care and love you showed our dad in his last years of life.