Willie Faye Bruner McKenzie, longtime resident of Kaufman, passed away peacefully into the presence of her Savior on July 16, 2016. Faye was born June 4, 1922 in Tolosa, Tex. to Troy Elmer and Della (Farley) Bruner. She was welcomed into Heaven by her parents, her beloved husband, Marvin Odell McKenzie, who passed in 1983 as well as her daughter, Nelda Dodson, brothers: Vernon, Elzie, Russell, Bobby Lee, Perry David and sisters: Izora Bankston and Lottie Jo Gray.
Faye grew up and went to school in a rural community and her life experiences would shape the steadfast devotion and commitment she showed to her family and friends. Growing up on the family farm, she helped raise vegetables as well as cared for the livestock that provided the family’s meals. During her childhood and growing up, she became quite adept at all tasks that enabled her to run her own household such as cooking, baking, sewing and gardening. As a young girl, she saw a loaf of sliced bread at the grocery store and she still remembers marveling at how a store sold what they did at home! Her abilities at tending to chores during her youth gave her the strong foundation of maintaining a happy home when she married the love of her life, Marvin Odell McKenzie on May 31, 1941. She and Odell would love and raise five children who were their blessings: Nelda, Douglas, Sue, Vickie and Sherry and their five children would continue the legacy with their own children all started by a love shared by Faye and Odell. She would help Odell support the family by babysitting little ones, and baking pies and cakes to be sold at the local drugstore. Later, she helped him at their Mobil Station after which she worked for 10 years at the Carnival Drive-In bringing a smile to customer’s faces with her sweet spirit. After retiring, Faye enjoyed time shopping for anything especially that had her favorite color red, tending to her beautiful flowers and time with family and friends. Faye enjoyed having a big Christmas celebration with family every year on Christmas Eve at her home and then having a big lunch on Christmas Day. Her dressing was looked forward to by everyone in the family along with her wonderful pies, cakes, fudge and divinity. Sherry was especially lucky in that anytime Faye would bake a pie, an extra crust was made especially for her! Faye’s chicken and dumplings will be very fondly remembered by Liz as the best in the world and Bubba loved her salmon patties. Being the first-born grandchild, Debbie had the annual birthday gift of Mammaw’s homemade chocolate rolls. In addition to baking, Faye was an accomplished seamstress. She made all of her children’s clothes and, later, sewed the grandchildren’s Halloween costumes. Crocheting and quilting were also favorite hobbies and she made several afghans and quilts for many family members. At Christmas in 2010, Faye was able to give all the grandchildren and great grandchildren handmade afghans and quilts with each design lovingly sewn or crocheted by her as a testament of her love for them. She was a faithful church member in each church she served and, most recently, she was the oldest member at Victory Church in Scurry. In her 94 years, Faye saw many changes in the world but one thing stayed the same-her constant love for the five generations of her family that will continue to cherish her memory as they, in turn, continue the legacy she began.
Faye is survived by her children: Douglas McKenzie of Kaufman, Sue Ballard and husband, Stan, of Poetry, Vickie Johnson and husband, Ronnye, of Seven Points and Sherry Roberts of Styx; son-in-law, Alton Dodson of Ennis; brother, Marvin Dell Bruner; grandchildren: Debbie Dearick (Robert), Lisa Weeks (Mike), Shawna Holguin (Rob), Shelley Hitt (Johnny) Douglas “Bubba” McKenzie (Amber), Matthew West Ballard (Amanda), Dock McKenzie Ballard (Veronica), Mistie McNew (Charles), Dawnya House (Jason Andrews), Sam Johnson (Patsy), Angela Richey (Derwin) and Liz Jackson (Joe David Spurgeon); great grandchildren: Scott Stewart (Misty), Chris Stewart (Stephanie) Keisha Lindsey (Mike), Michael Dodson (Tiffany) Leslie Rendon (Felipe), Lane McKenzie, Savannah Whittington, Mason Whittington, Coy McKenzie, Aidan Ballard, Adison Ballard, Alexandria Wilkerson, Grant Ballard, Courtney Cubine, Dalton Cubine, Bailee House, Blair House, Daryl House, Landen Johnson, Jessica Shepard, Dustin Jackson (Shelby), Justin Richey, Stephen Loeb and Anna Grace Loeb; great-great grandchildren: Haley Stewart, Nathan Stewart, Noah Stewart, Keely Stewart, AJ Stewart, Brayden Stewart, Kinsler Stewart, Daniela Rendon, Vanessa Rendon, Abigail Rendon, Braylee Lane Cubine, Cooper Shepard, Stella Kate Dodson and Lafe Lindsey as well as numerous nieces, nephew, extended family and a