William “Bill” Henry McKenzie, III ’73
William “Bill” Henry McKenzie, III, died peacefully at home on Friday, May 12, 2017, of adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare cancer. Visitation will be 5-7 PM in the Activities Building of the Batesville First United Methodist Church (119 Panola Avenue) Sunday, May 14, with services in the Sanctuary Monday, May 15, at 11 A.M. with Rev. Ed Temple officiating. Wells Funeral Home of Batesville, MS is in charge of arrangements.
Bill was born in Durant MS on June 3, 1951, to W.H. (Henry) McKenzie, Jr., and Katherine Burlingame McKenzie. From age 13 through college, Bill enjoyed a variety of employments which included Piggly Wiggly, Camp Castalian Springs, Deposit Guaranty Bank, and the Ole Miss Ticket Office. He received a BA in Finance (1973) and Juris Doctorate degree in law (1976) from the University of Mississippi. While at Ole Miss he was an officer in Sigma Nu Fraternity, played intramural sports, and met and married his wife of 42 years, Marni Shideler McKenzie.
Bill began practicing law in 1976 with Corr, Carlson, and Fleming, opening their Batesville office. In 1978 he entered solo practice, over time developing his specialties in real estate, wills, and estates. He was appointed Municipal Court Judge in 1978 and Panola County Board Attorney in 1984, holding both positions until his death. Bill was an active member of Rotary Club (Paul Harris Fellow), Panola County Industrial Authority, and Panola Partnership.
He was known by friends and family for his reliable wisdom and steady faith in Jesus Christ. He was a life-time member of the United Methodist Church, coming to faith as a child and serving as youth worker, choir member, Sunday School teacher, and frequent chairman of Finance and Pastor-Staff committees. He was a faithful student in Explorer’s Bible Study, funding and supporting Marni’s 38 years as teacher and curriculum writer for that ministry. He very much enjoyed serving in Panola South Camp of Gideons International, always keeping a stash of Bibles in his office and vehicles for personal distribution. In the last year he enjoyed being on the board for The Cross, a ministry constructing a huge cross on Hwy.6/55 in Batesville.
Bill loved the outdoors. He played competitive softball till he was 55, and enjoyed fishing and hunting, a membership in Mallard Alley duck camp, and, until recent years, snow skiing annually in Colorado with family and friends. He was actively involved in the lives of his children and grandchildren as chaperone, coach, and mentor.
He is survived by sister Barbara (Bonnie) McKenzie of Houston TX, wife Marni, and three children: Melanie (Lent Ervin) Thomas of Batesville, William (Marilyn) H. McKenzie, IV, of Birmingham, and Joanna (Brandon) Cole of Pope, as well as 8 grandchildren: Jackson, Ruthie, Rhett Thomas; Henry, Abigail, Caroline McKenzie; and Calvin and Olivia Cole.
Memorials may be made to Batesville First United Methodist Church (119 Panola Ave., Batesville MS 38606), Explorer’s Bible Study(PO Box 425, Dickson TN 37056 ), Gideons International (PO Box 791, Batesville MS 38606), or The Cross (First Security Bank, 295 Hwy. 6, W, Batesville 38606)