It is with extreme sadness that the family of Earl Vernon McKenzie announces his peaceful passing on Thursday, July 19, 2018.
Earl chose to end his years of dealing with dialysis for renal failure and cancer treatments for multiple myeloma in order to experience a peaceful end of life's journey while being a patient in the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, B.C. and being surrounded by his loving family.
Earl was born on March 2, 1946 in Fort Frances, Ont. to Vern and Edna (Cooper) McKenzie. He married his high school sweetheart, Ellen Collum, on Sept. 20, 1963.
Earl received his undergraduate degree in speech pathology at the University of North Dakota and his Master's degree in audiology at the University of Washington. He worked as an audiologist in Ontario (Canadian Hearing Society), in the Manitoba Departments of Education and Health, and with the Worker's Compensation Board in Vancouver, B.C.
He and Ellen purchased the Winnipeg Hearing Aid Centre in 1988. Soon thereafter, his children, Kim and Kyle, joined “the Firm” and a family business was established. The children purchased the business in 1999 and Earl and Ellen retired and moved to B.C.
Earl always was extremely proud of his kids and of the fact that they have grown the business extensively to now having eight Winnipeg Hearing Centres locations.
Earl became bored with retirement in 2001 and purchased a franchise with Wild Birds Unlimited. He and Ellen worked at this business for seven years and sold it in 2008 . . . a second, and final, retirement began!
Earl had no hobbies—unless one can call owning 50+ cars a hobby (he'd be embarrassed that Ellen shared this information!) Work was always his life!
Earl is survived by his wife of 54 years, Ellen; daughter, Kim (Barry Bremner) of Winnipeg, Man.; son, Kyle (Leza) of Winnipeg, Man.; and brother, Don of Fort Frances, Ont.
Earl was lovingly welcomed into the Collum family and is survived by his sisters-in-law, Beverly (Gordie) Kyle of Thunder Bay, Ont. and Dixie (Neil) Nordstrom of Guelph, Ont.; brother-in-law, Ray (Donna) Collum of Kenora, Ont.; and by nine loving nieces and nephews and their families.
Earl also is survived by his three wonderful grandchildren, Quinn Nitychoruk, Amory Nitychoruk, and Cassie McKenzie. He always was delighted to see pictures of his great-granddaughter, Ava, on Instagram.
Earl was predeceased by his parents, Vern and Edna; father-in-law, Archie Collum Sr.; mother-in-law, Marguerite Collum; and three brothers-in-law, Archie Collum Jr., Gordie Kyle, and Neil Nordstrom.
Earl has been cremated and has asked that some of his ashes be scattered into his childhood garden, where he often had to do the weeding (he hated gardening ever since), and into the air, the forest, and into the lake at Caliper Lake, Ont.
He also has requested that a small gathering of family and friends take place at the Paradise Restaurant, when Ellen next visits Winnipeg. We've shared many dinners in the past here with family, friends, and staff.
Kim and Kyle thanked Earl for instilling in them the love of music, nature, camping, and World of Outlaws Sprint Car Racing. Four generations now are enjoying life at the cottage on Caliper Lake and races at the Winnipeg Speedway!
“Earl, everything we are today is due to your unconditional love and support. Rest peacefully.”