Nov 282013

Kevin McKenzie

Kevin McKenzie

Kevin Myles McKenzie, Groton’s representative to the Nashoba Valley Technical High School Committee, lost his courageous battle with lung cancer — a fight that he had waged for well over a year. This once-active man spent the last 10 months of his life in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. Despite numerous setbacks and unfair complications, Kevin never gave up. He passed away peacefully with his wife and son by his side on November 13, 2013.

Kevin was a hardworking man who took good care of his family and who gave back to his community. Kevin’s family knew him to be a loving husband and father. It brings them comfort to know that many people are mourning the loss of Kevin with them.

Kevin was born on December 3, 1951, son of the late Edward and Margaret Porter McKenzie in Winchester, Massachusetts. He and his family relocated to Groton, Massachusetts in 1978. He is survived by his wife Melissa; daughter Amanda and her husband, Hetram Verma; son Corey and his fiancé, Megan Sennott, and their daughter and Kevin’s and Melissa’s granddaughter Maeve; and his brother, Edward J. McKenzie.

Before his illness, Kevin worked for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt as a senior database administrator. The Boston-based publisher was very supportive of Kevin while he was sick; for this his family is extremely grateful.

Kevin’s first career was teaching. He graduated from Fitchburg State College with a degree in Industrial Arts. We taught at Billerica Memorial High School.

Because of his interest in education, Kevin became a school committee member for Nashoba Valley Technical High School more than 10 years ago. Nashoba Tech Superintendent Judy Klimkiewicz said, “Kevin was the Groton representative, but he believed himself to be a Nashoba Valley Technical School District representative. We’d see him at community events in Townsend or Littleton. He represented the school, not just Groton, the town he loved. We’d be at a town meeting in Pepperell, and he’d show up. If he thought a problem was going to be raised, he’d be there. The School Committee was a really important part of his life. All Kevin wanted was for Nashoba to become the school he wanted it to be.”

Kevin was also very interested in Groton politics and rarely missed going to town meetings or local events. He was a definite “townie” who like to frequent local places like Johnson’s Drive In and Clover Farm Market to chat and hang out with friends.

Nashoba Publishing correspondent Pierre Comptois wrote an article about Kevin in June, 2013, which began with, “Affable, friendly, and always ready to share his time and experience, everyone who knows Kevin McKenzie, the town’s energetic representative on the School Committee for the Nashoba Valley Technical High School, agree that he is “a great guy.”

Former Groton-Dunstable Regional School Committee member Berta Erickson was quoted in the article and said, “Kevin is highly regarded in Groton. Without doubt, he has been the most contributory school representative on the Nashoba Valley Tech School Committee in the history of the town and I’ve lived here for 40 years. He brought communication between the town and Nashoba Valley Tech. Also, as a former selectman told me the other day, Kevin gave invaluable advice and guidance to the Board of Selectmen. He certainly helped me as a School Committee member. Basically, he gave me advice on things Nashoba Valley was doing that led me to do things with my own School Committee that were ahead of their time.”

Relatives and friends will be received by the family Tuesday, December 3, 2013 from 4-7 p.m. at the Hamilton McGaffigan Funeral Home, 37 Main Street (SR 113), in Pepperell, Massachusetts. For those who wish, donations in his memory may be made to the Nashoba Valley Technical High School 100 Littleton Road, Westford, MA, 01886. Please see .