James Reid McKenzie


James Reid McKenzie


James McKenzie, known to friends and colleagues as Jim, died on June 9, 2020 at the age of 72


Jim was born on June 11, 1947 to Murdo and Peggy McKenzie. He grew up in Toronto with his three siblings: Eleanor, Douglas and Margaret.   Jim met and married the love of his life, Heather, on July 7, 1972.  They welcomed their daughters, Sarah and Kirsty into the world in 1979 and 1982. Sarah and her husband Dana Stringer blessed Jim and Heather with two cherished grandchildren, Violet, in 2011 and Henry, in 2013.  Jim is survived by his daughters Sarah and Kirsty, son-in-law Dana Stringer, grandchildren Violet and Henry, brother Doug and sister Eleanor.  He is predeceased by wife Heather and his sister Margaret.


Jim was best known as a whip-smart, raconteur with a dry wit, and a twinkle in his eye.  After graduating from the University of Toronto with a masters in political science, Jim started his career in sales at Procter & Gamble followed by a four-year stint at Sterling Drugs. In 1977, Jim joined the Leo Burnett Company and discovered his passion for advertising and creativity.  He remained at Leo Burnett for 28 years, retiring as CEO, a position he held for more than a decade. He was a mentor to many, and well known for his integrity and abiding respect for both clients and Burnett personnel.   His loyalty to his clients and passion for his work extended to his home where his children grew up surrounded by the products and brands he was representing. 


Jim was an avid golfer, who loved playing cribbage, Scrabble, poker, and chess. He was also passionate about film and travel which he was fortunate to share with Heather and they travelled the world together having many adventures.


There will be a private graveside service for immediate family members at Mount Pleasant Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent in his name to Black Lives Matter Toronto (https://blacklivesmatter.ca/donate/).  Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.