Longtime Central Alberta umpire Ron MacKenzie passed away in Calgary, December 31st.
Service for Ron MacKenzie was held Friday, January 7th in Red Deer
Due to Covid restrictions it was a private service.
The service can be seen by clicking This Obituary Notice
Ron’s family has generously donated his equipment to be handed on to a deserving new umpire in his memory.
We have lost a talented umpire, gentleman, and comedian. R.I.P. Ron
Among other things that Ron contributed to the association were the many young people he taught and assisted at many tournaments, and especially the annual Stettler event, where his cork board was the centre of attention!
Ron Mackenzie was a member of the umpiring community for more than six decades, an achievement that few in our sport ever attain.
Ron umpired his first game at the age of 18 and became a carded official in 1965 in Peace River. He moved to Dawson Creek, and in 1974 became a Level 3 umpire in Prince George. He umpired baseball and fastball and slo-pitch in Dawson Creek, and also worked tournaments and provincials in Kamloops, Quesnel, Williams Lake and other places.
Ron moved to Slave Lake, where he continued to umpire, and moved again in 1989 to Nanaimo where he was president of the local umpire association before moving to Edson in 1994. There was no fastball in Edson, so he drove to Hinton and Jasper where there was an eight-team league. Both children were now teenagers and became Level 3 umpires and umpired until they were married and started families.
Ron and his wife Myrna moved to Red Deer in 2006, where they lived until 2019 when they moved to Calgary. He was also active umpiring, instructing at clinics, and mentoring young aspiring officials in Zone 4 until the move to Calgary. Fastball, slo-pitch and baseball were a part of his life for over 60 years and he met some amazing people and witnessed some good ball.
Ron’s greatest asset as an umpire, and specifically to the Red Deer Softball Umpires Association and Zone 4, was imparting knowledge to everyone from 12-year old first-year officials to seasoned adult umpires, while maintaining an extraordinary sense of humour.
Ron made learning and improving yourself as an umpire fun and rewarding. He practiced what he preached by hustling on the diamond, being on time (early) for every game and being the most proactive organizer by preparing weeks in advance for tournaments where he was the UIC.
Umpires in central Alberta and across the province who met and worked with Ron Mackenzie benefitted from the years that he developed and honed his skills as a mentor to young and old umpires a like.
Further information will be released when it’s available.