Bertha “Squeak” McKenzie, age 73, was born in Sumter County, South Carolina, on April 25, 1949. She was the daughter of the late Marion McKenzie and the late Annie Lee Bennett McKenzie. On April 17, 2023, God called her home to rest.
She attended Sumter County schools but withdrew in order to care for her younger siblings. With her education being left incomplete, she attended Monroe Community College (MCC) where she proudly received her Graduate Equivalency Degree (GED) in 1998. Bertha accepted Christ at an early age and was a faithful member of Union Baptist Church. There, she continued her service to God as an usher on the usher board. Bertha’s talents were many. She was an extremely skilled seamstress and cook. Anyone who knew her, or knew of her, appreciated the fact that she always cooked with love and her pound cakes were proof of that.
While living in Rochester, New York, she was employed at WT Grant, Strong Memorial Hospital and Rite Aide. She then decided to move from New York to South Carolina in 1980 to be closer to her family. There, she was hired at Towne and Country Manufacturing. Being the friendly people-person that she was, Bertha also worked at Hardee’s where she greeted each customer with a smile until resigning due to health issues.
Bertha was a shining light. She birthed two children, but she was a mother to so many. She loved, and lived for, her family. Both kind words and hard truths she delivered with unconditional love. Nothing was too good to share with others. If clothes were needed, she checked her closet. If you were hungry, she gave you food. This heart of gold met no strangers. Bertha was an angel from God, placed on this Earth to bring light to dark places, and she did exactly that.
She loved to travel. Playing bingo was her game. She was also in the Golden Girls Club in Willingston, South Carolina. She was preceded in death by both her parents, Marion McKenzie and Annie Lee Bennett McKenzie; grandparents, Marion and Mable McKenzie, Eddie and Annie L. Richardson Bennett; five brothers, James Marion McKenzie, Charles Ernest McKenzie, Frankie McKenzie, Lee Vernon McKenzie and James, who passed in infancy and a sister, Addell Simon.
Bertha leaves her precious memories to: two daughters, Jennifer (Randy) Duncan of Rembert, SC, and Terri Holloway of Greenville, SC; three grandchildren, Tequira Holloway, Randall Duncan, and Jenna Duncan; three great-grands, Jamarriyon Burroughs, Justice Duncan, and Jaxson Duncan; she was a mother to Judith (Ernest) McCollom Francis Favor, Johnny Lee McKenzie, and Tomeash Jenkins; six brothers, Samuel (Linda) Session of Central, SC, Tyrone McKenzie of Camden, SC, Robert (Carmen) McKenzie of Piedmont, SC, Edward Jenkins of Washington, DC, Thomas (Bertha) Lewis of Columbia, SC, and Marion (Pamela) Rufus of Florence, SC; three sisters, Johnnie Mae McKenzie of Rembert, SC, Roberta (Edward) Johnson of Bishopville, SC, and Luvenia (Richard) Dix of Bishopville, SC; one aunt, Sally Mae Alston of Rembert, SC; special cousin who she calls her brother, Sam Bennett; her adopted family, Dr. Tallulah Holmstrom, Josh, and George; two special friends, Alfreda Johnson and Gloria Holiday; and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.
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