Retired Seattle Police Officers Association

Last Ring

Take a moment to remember our friends and associates who have passed.

Mel (Mac) McKenzie #2028, retired Seattle Police Patrolman passed away on December 8, 2014. He was 85 years of age upon passing.

Mac was born and raised in the small town of Homestead, Montana. He attended the one room school house all the way through 1st – 12th grades. He did not have time for sports because he was helping on his father’s and grandparents’ farms before and after school.
When he graduated, he enlisted in the Army for three years. He was stationed in Japan. Mac so enjoyed his time in the Army, as a break from farm work, that when his hitch was up her joined the Air Force for three years. He became a member of an air crew and was stationed at Fairchild AFB in Spokane. Upon discharge he went to work at the Post Office in Spokane. He got tired delivering mail so he got a job at Kaiser Aluminum.
When he turned 30 years old, he saw an advertisement for the Seattle Police Department which was starting to expand for the upcoming World’s Fair/Century 21 in 1962. Mac was hired on February 9, 1960 and was immediately assigned to the city jail on the sixth floor of the PSB. After attending the Academy he thought he could escape to Patrol. But no such luck, he was reassigned to the jail until the beginning of 1962. Then he was assigned to the Seattle Center Detail which handled police duties at the World’s Fair. Mac even worked Elvis’s security during the making of the movie It Happened at the World’s Fair. (Incidentally, Elvis would have turned 80 this past January.) After the fair closed down in 1963, Mac was assigned to the Georgetown Precinct (he had escaped the jail) working the “Valley”, then later the “Junction”. He was involved in a couple of serious pursuits that resulted in neck and back injuries. So he was assigned to the Administrative Bureau in 1970. Then the following year, while assisting at riot control training at Providence Heights, Mac reinjured his back. The Administration then gave him the job of working for Clay Bean #1518, helping design and convert an old school bus into the Department’s first mobile communications and command vehicle for demonstrations or disasters. Mac’s Air Force MOS and farm boy ingenuity made him ideal for the assignment. The total cost was $40,000, half with matching Federal funds. By the time the bus was completely retrofitted in 1972, Mac’s back deteriorated to the point of forcing his retirement on September 19, 1972 after almost thirteen years on the job.
He had left the farm to see the world, but the farm had not left him so after he retired, Mac moved from Eastgate to Eastern Washington in Benton City. There he grew a large garden and raised a few head of cattle for the next ten years. In 1982 he moved again, back to Montana. There he helped on his relatives’ farms. During his free time he continued his avocation of flying fixed winged aircraft. He did this until 1991 when his back injuries and heart problems grounded him. That year he moved to Winlock, Washington to be by his kids for his next twenty-three years. The children abided by Mac’s wishes to send his remains back to the family home in Homestead, Montana.
Mac is survived by his daughter, Lina Gale; his three sons, Jeff, Mark and Gordon; ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.