Photography 04

Ian G. Mackenzie

June 18, 1928 ~ June 2, 2022 (age 93)


Ian (“John”) Gilroy Mackenzie, age 93, died Thursday, June 2, 2022, at the Bampa’s House in Corning, N.Y.

Ian was born in 1928, and raised near Malvern, 60 miles west of London, England. In the mid-1940’s, during World War II, he was living in a London suburb, and experienced some bombing of the city.

After the war, he served two years in the British Army.  He obtained a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Loughborough University, U.K., in 1952. (Years later, he obtained a M.S. degree in Engineering Science from Buffalo University, New York.)

Ian immigrated to America in August 1955. He lived almost five years in Philadelphia, and another five years in Pittsburgh, Pa.  It was in Pittsburgh that he met and married his beloved wife Jean (Norris) in 1963.  They were happily married for 48 years, until her death in 2011.

In the mid-1960’s, they moved to Corning, N.Y.  Both obtained positions with Corning Glass Works, (now Corning Incorporated). Jean worked in several administrative departments. Ian started as a Project Engineer in the Melting Technology Department. Later he became a manager in the Corporate Purchasing department.

For outdoor winter recreation Ian enjoyed downhill skiing for 50 years, mostly at Swain Mountain, N.Y.  In the summer, he kayaked or canoed on local lakes.  He gave up skiing at age 85 and kayaking at 93.

Ian’s other great interests were travel and photography.  Soon after coming to America, during the 1958 recession, he and another co-worker decided to go on a photographing and sightseeing trip around America, from coast to coast by car.  Their 10,000-mile trip took six weeks. With numerous stops, they each took two-hour turns driving, sometimes going all night. This was before the Interstate Highway System was built.

In later years, Ian traveled extensively worldwide, visiting all seven continents and over 40 countries.  After each trip, he combined his photographs into slideshow travelogue, which he would then present to local groups and organizations.

As a public service, for ten years, Ian investigated and resolved reports of cruelty and neglect of animals in the area.  This was on behalf of the former Corning Area Humane Society.  Steuben County now performs this function.

In addition, for ten years, in the 2000’s, he helped deliver hot meals every Monday to homebound residents on behalf of Meals on Wheels.

Ian was a member of the Sister Cities Association of Corning. In 2002, he and a small group of members visited Lviv, Corning’s sister city of Ukraine.

He was also an active member and board member of the Scottish-American Society of the Southern Tier. For ten years, serving as program chairman, he helped organize all society meetings.

Ian was actively involved with the Corning-Painted Post Historical Society during his retirement years. He was a member, board member, and docent (tour guide) for many years.  He also maintained for 25 years the herb garden at the Patterson Inn in Corning.

He wrote a number of historic articles for the Society’s publications. During his retirement, he also wrote and self-published two books.  The first told the story of all the one-room and other schools ever built in the Corning-Painted Post Area school district from 1793 to 1957.  The second, “Railroads Remembered”, covered the history of railroads in western New York and western Pennsylvania.

Ian was preceded in death by his dear wife, Jean, and in England by his two sisters, Joy and Barbara.  He is survived by his son Jeffery (Karen), grandson James Mackenzie, some most distant relatives in western U.S., and Jean’s relatives in Pittsburgh.  In England, surviving relatives include niece Jayne Clarke, nephew Andrew Keen, and their families.

There will be no funeral or memorial service.  Those wishing to make a memorial gift could make it to a charity of their choice, or to Finger Lakes SPCA, 72 Cameron Street, Bath, N.Y. 14810.

At the end, Ian said he wanted to thank all those who have helped him in his life, particularly during his final months battling cancer.

“In my life, I shall pass this way but once. Any kindness that I can show, or any goodness that I can do, let me do it now. For I shall not pass this way again” (Anon)




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