David Odell MacKenzie
David Odell MacKenzie

David Odell MacKenzie, Captiva and a lifelong resident of Lake Forest, IL, passed away peacefully surrounded by his children in his beloved Captiva Island, Florida home on March 11.

Born in 1931, he attended Halsey School and Gorton School of Lake Forest.

In his senior year at Culver Military Academy, he contracted bulbar polio and spent the next year convalescing in an iron lung. He finished high school at Lake Forest Academy, an alma mater that became very dear to him as he later taught, coached, and worked in their business office. He was known as “Mr. LFA” and was a generous donor of the MacKenzie Ice Arena.

As a part of his recuperation from polio, David told the story that (in the 1940’s) his mother would drive to the ferry landing near the Sanibel lighthouse and tell him to walk home on the beach to build up his strength….it was 14 miles to his house. He said most days he would see fewer than a dozen other people, but he said, “I have the best shell collection you ever saw.”

He attended Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.) and was a distinguished athlete playing both Varsity soccer and hockey. He joined ROTC, then served in the U.S. Air Force (1954-1957) and as an officer in Japan during the Korean War.

He and Deborah (d. 2012) married in 1960.

In his early career, David worked in sales for the Quaker Oats Company. He then became a teacher, as well as soccer and hockey coach at Lake Forest Academy and later worked as a Business Administrator at the Academy and also at the Lake Forest Country Day School.

David and Deborah were the owners of the Red Rock Ranch in Kelly, Wyo., where they loved spending their summers enjoying the authentic western lifestyle and entertaining the many guests that stayed there. They both shared a passion for the land through environmental stewardship. David was an avid fly fisherman and ensured the sustainability of his beloved native cutthroat trout. He also was a dedicated golfer and a member of the U.S. Seniors Golf Association. He served on a myriad of boards, caucuses, and was a past Elder at the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest.

David belonged to The Sanctuary Golf Club and the Captiva Island Yacht Club in Sanibel and Captiva. David and his family have been a part of these islands since the 1940’s.

He is survived by Douglas MacKenzie of Harvard IL, Marion (Roger) Christoph of Lake Forest, IL, Carolyn (Harley) Stimmel of Hempstead, TX, and David W. (Casey) MacKenzie of Longmont, CO. Grandchildren include: Henry, Tommy, Gordy, Laura, Elizabeth and James Christoph; Steven, Jake, Russell and Joe Mac Stimmel; Harper and Evan MacKenzie.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to: The Captiva Chapel by the Sea, Box 188 Captiva FL 33924 (www.captivachapel.com)

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. at the Captiva Chapel by the Sea, 11580 Chapin Lane.