Ruth E. MacKenzie

Birth Date: 
Saturday, December 28, 1918
Date of Passing: 
Thursday, October 5, 2017

Ruth Everett MacKenzie, 98, having lived all of those years to the fullest, passed away surrounded by the love of her family on October 5. Born in 1918 in Cleveland, Ohio to George K. and Neta Mae (Garman) Temple, Ruth grew up in Detroit, Michigan, graduating from high school and attending business college. She showed her spirit of adventure at a young age driving to Mexico for a vacation with 5 girlfriends in 1940! Her job at a bank resulted in lifelong friendships including the love of her life, Donald MacKenzie. They married in 1949, and, when Don offered her a choice of buying a house in Wooster or taking their honeymoon in France, she replied “We can always buy a house” so off to France for the summer! In the fall of 1949, they moved to Wooster for his new job as Professor of Art at the College of Wooster where he taught until his death in 1981. She was his strong helpmate every step of the way, from organizing and typing his Ph.D dissertation, to hosting students, to gamely heading off to three sabbaticals in Italy, the first in 1960 with their four young children ages 3 - 10 in tow. Later travels took them around the world across Asia to the Far East through two year-long sabbaticals in Japan. They became deeply immersed in Japanese culture and made many enduring friendships.

Ruth was a notable nursery school teacher, working with Clare Adel Schreiber at the College of Wooster Nursery school for 30 years, participating in many projects aimed at making better outcomes for children such as Building Healthy Families. She believed in the golden rule - do unto others and lived her life in the light of that. Devoted to community service, she was an active supporter of the Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, and People to People. She and others tirelessly worked to keep the Wooster Christmas Run Pool open for the children in those neighborhoods. A faithful and active member of Westminster Presbyterian Church for 68 years, she served as Deacon and in many other capacities.

She leaves her legacy of love, service, and faith to her four children, Laurie, Jan, Kevin (Lisa) and Marty. The 7 grandchildren, Brian, Walker, Christopher, Molly, Mackenzie, Donald, Margi and one great grandchild, Xander who will all miss her vitality but knew she was always interested in their lives.

Friends of the MacKenzie/Haiss families will be received at the McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster on Friday, October 27, 2017 from 6-8:00 p.m.

A Celebration of Ruth’s Life will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 2:30 Westminster Presbyterian Church in Mackey Hall.

McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family.

Online condolences may be left for the family at


Friday, October 27, 2017 from 6-8:00 p.m. at the funeral home


A Celebration of Ruth’s Life will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 2:30 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Mackey Hall.



Ruth truly lived a wonderful life. My children had her at the College of Wooster Preschool. Even into her 90's she would remember their names and ask about them. She was a loyal volunteer at Lincoln Way Elementary School for many years. She arrived early in the morning around 8:00, often dressed in lavender and always with a smile. She would read with one of my students until the regular school day started. Then we would sit and talk about what she had planned for the day. Her days were filled with family, friends, and service. Even when the roads were too bad for her to drive to Lincoln Way a family member would bring her and I would take her home. If one of her trips prevented her from coming to read with her student she would return with a small token and stories and pictures to share with her student. When Wooster City Schools decided to close Lincoln Way Ruth and I sat and shared memories and shed a few tears. I feel blessed to have known this extraordinary Lady. Ruth you will be missed.

My condolences to the family.

Marty, So sorry to see your Mom has passed away. Prayers to you all. Karen

Jan...I am so very sorry to hear of your mother's passing. May your many memories bring a smile and comfort to your heart.

You Mom seemed to live a wonderful life. I bet you have so many great memories. I can tell you that my Mom passed away over twenty years ago and those memories never go away. Enjoy and cherish them especially through this difficult time.
Blessings to you and your family,

Hello Jan MacKenzie,

Sorry to hear about the death of your Mom! WOW, were you lucky that she lived such a long life! From the obit. above I can see where you got your spunk and energy!

God Bless,

Jeff Gordon

I'm sorry to hear of the passing of Mrs. MacKenzie. I remember seeing her at YMCA swim meets. My condolences to Jan and the rest of the passing family.

Hi Jan,
Very sad to hear of your mother's passing. She had a long, fruitful and fulfilling life. Few people are as lucky as her. She brought great joy to those around her and that lets her pass with a great amount of satisfaction, knowing she touched so many people. Remember the joy she brought to people's lives and she will smile down on you forever.

Ruth Mackenzie's legacy will live on in the impact her amazing example of grace will continue to have on this community and on anyone who ever had the great fortune to meet her!

Dear Marty, Jan and family,
We are sadden to hear Mrs. Mackenzie passing. We loved her spirit and vitality in life! She showed joy to our children in nursery school, was always interested in what they were doing all these years later. Ruth made me feel wonderful in her presence. I will miss seeing her and hearing her stories of her travels.

Please accept my deepest sympathy, she had a beautiful smile.

Ruth was a gracious and wonderful lady. She touched many lives and will be greatly missed by many.

Dear Mackenzie Family, your mother's cheerful and generous presence will be greatly missed and fondly remembered. How fortunate we Lings were to be neighbors for so many years. Thinking of you all.

So very sorry for your loss but so glad for Ruth's long life and for the inspiration she was to so many.

On behalf of the Hustwit Family, I extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to Mrs. Mackenzie's family and loved ones. She was a lovely woman who served as both Sunday and Nursery school teacher to myself and brothers. I venture to say, she was my brother Ron's favorite teacher.we are blessed to have known her and have wonderful memories, in part created by her. She always had kind words and great tolerance for children. She was an example for all those who knew her. Peace and well wishes to her family during this difficult time.

I’m so sorry for the loss of your mom. She was always interested in others. Keep her voice in your mind and she’ll never be far from you. Much love as you travel life’s path without her.

Deepest condolences to all the family. Ruth was such a warm and loving person to all. Our daughter had the benefit of her love and guidance at the College of Wooster Nursery School. As I came into the College of Wooster community, I can't count the number of people I heard say "Ruth Mackenzie is my best friend." She was visible all around town participating in activities and taking care of her friends, driving them in her aqua car. She also had the wonderful talent of making you feel like you were the only person in the room when she spoke to you. She'll be long-remembered.

Will miss her pleasant company during swim exercise at Wooster High School.

Laurie & family-
So sorry for your loss. Hoping your memories of good times will see you through. Thoughts of peace and comfort coming your way.


Laurie & family-
So sorry for your loss. Hoping your memories of good times will see you through. Thoughts of peace and comfort coming your way.


Jan & Family, I'm sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Banana cream pie
Your dad would invite us to your house and spend the week before talking about this dessert your mom would make.
He thought it would convince us to come but we all knew he liked the fact she would be making it.
Some people need a long eulogy to outline their lives and accomplishments... Your mom and Dad did not... Their legacy says so much more than could be stated with words.
Regards and prayers

Bob Sulick
Wooster 1978

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