Loyce Cain McKenzie, a respected educator and gardener, passed away on November 20, 2020 at her home in Madison, MS with her son Kevin and granddaughter Ashley at her side.
Loyce, the daughter of Methodist Historian, Rev. J.B. Cain and Amy McNeil Cain, was born on May 25, 1934. She graduated from Canton High School and Belhaven College where she majored in English Literature. She taught English for many years at Belhaven College and later at Madison Central High School, where she received multiple Star Teacher Awards. She was a leader of the Academic Competition Program at Madison Central through which she expanded educational opportunities for students with her characteristic energy and commitment. Loyce also taught Physical Education at First Presbyterian Church Day School during the years her son was a student there.
In 1959, Loyce married Herman Lamar McKenzie in Magnolia, MS, the home of her parents at that time. Herman and Loyce were married 48 years until Herman passed away in 2017. In 1963, the McKenzies moved to Jackson and built a home on the northwest side, where they played a key role in establishing Aldersgate Methodist Church. In 1968, they welcomed their only child Kevin into the family and began a routine of summer trips to the Smoky Mountains and Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA.
In 1973, the McKenzies became dedicated members of Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church, where Loyce supported Herman in his teaching of the Watkins-Griffith Bible Class for 41 years. In 1985, they bought land in south Madison county and built a new home designed by their son, much of it with the labor of their own hands. Through the years, Loyce filled her days with many interests but none more important than spending time with family – especially her son Kevin, granddaughter Ashley, and great-grandson Mason.
Loyce was an avid reader and sports enthusiast. She is perhaps best known for her love of gardening, and specifically her keen interest in daffodils. She wrote a column for The Northside Sun newspaper entitled “Gardening Glimpses” for almost 50 years, and she was a valued member of the American Daffodil Society throughout her adult life. It was through this organization that she developed many lifelong friends who shared her common interests. She has received numerous commendations for her grace, guidance, and support of the society. She attended Daffodil Conventions all over the United States, and she served as editor of The Daffodil Journal for many years. She cultivated numerous varieties of daffodils in her own garden. She counts among her most treasured experiences her trips to Europe and New Zealand to visit many of the magnificent gardens.
After living in an assisted living facility where she was surrounded by flowers, as well as pictures of family, she returned to her home in Madison. May she find rest now in the most beautiful heavenly garden imaginable.
Loyce is survived by her son Kevin McKenzie of Madison, MS, granddaughter Ashley McKenzie, and great-grandson, Mason. She is preceded in death by her parents Rev. and Mrs. J.B. Cain, her brother Neil Cain who died before she was born, and her husband Herman Lamar McKenzie.
A graveside funeral service will be held at 1:00 PM on Wednesday at Parkway Memorial Cemetery in Ridgeland, MS. Visitation to be announced. To share a memory, visit www.parkwayfuneralhomeridgeland.com.