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McKenzie became interested in becoming a mortician at the age of 12 when
his father committed suicide. Working with grieving families came very
natural to him, but he was uncomfortable with high funeral costs.
After eight years at a Lakewood,
California mortuary, in 1994 he opened McKenzie Cremation & Burial
Services in Signal Hill, California and halved the price of funerals.
He shares his services by donating three percent of his professional service
charge to the families’ charity.
McKenzie gives back to the
community by sponsoring annual holiday food drives and summer estate sales
that directly benefit people who receive care at local cash-crunched hospices.
So, it’s no surprise
that McKenzie is winning accolades from Long Beach’s high ranking
officials. McKenzie has been named outstanding business of the year for
community involvement by the Long Beach Community Business Network.
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Not an Average Funeral
Long Beach’s Ken McKenzie earns
Funeral Director of the Year Award
McKenzie has buried more people than you can shake a stick at.
No, he’s not a ruthless
dictator or a Mob boss.
McKenzie is a Long Beach funeral
home director, who started his career with a sense of humor that has not
only helped drive his success but has shed a positive light on the industry
as a whole.
The Belmont Heights resident
was recently recognized for those achievements, earning the California Funeral
Directors Association Funeral Director of the Year Award.
In 2006, McKenzie created and published the Men of Mortuaries Calendar, featuring shirtless, but shapely, morticians.
The calendar, which raised
funds for women going through breast cancer treatment, also shed a positive
light on the “death care industry,” according to the association.
a great idea,” said Bob Achermann, executive director of the association.
gives positive role models for letting the public know that funeral directors
area just like everybody else.”
The award was also given to
McKenzie because he is involved with the community. He gives to charity
and he has achieved a high standard of quality of service, Achermann said.
was pretty easy to make the decision when it came to him,” he said.
earned McKenzie appearances on television shows like “Late Night with
David Letterman,” “Good Morning America,” “ Inside
Edition,” “Life with Regis and Kelly,” “Fox News”
and “Good Day L.A.”
the new publisher, who has yet to be named, has committed to publish the
Men of Mortuaries Calendar for another five years. McKenzie said.
The next edition will be released in October, McKenzie said, adding, “the only difference is people wanted to see more skin.”
McKenzie frequently works out andwill be Mr. June in the upcoming calendar.
the calendar has shown that funeral directors are people with a sense of
humor, McKenzie said.
Funeral Directors Association is the state organization for funeral homes
and companies serving the funeral profession. The association serves as
an industry advocate and provides professional development.