McKenzie Noelle Wilson was a light. She was a light at home by loving her parents and brothers well and often. She was a light at school with her constant smile and laughter for teachers and classmates alike. She was a light in sports by cheerleading and playing softball with excellence and a good attitude. And she was a light in church, seeking God’s heart and desiring to bring him glory.
On August 17th, 2010, McKenzie passed away from a rare and sudden illness at the age of 15. Her family was overwhelmed as more than 1,800 people attended her funeral to celebrate her beautiful life. Just one month later, her high school decided to retire her softball jersey number “as a lasting tribute to her kindness, spirit, talent, and faith.”
McKenzie had always fostered a deep passion for helping others, and wanted people to feel loved and cared for. The McKenzie Noelle Wilson Foundation was created to embrace this passion of hers and honor her life by helping young people realize their full potential.
Here are some words from McKenzie’s Cousin, Lindsey Woods:
It is impossible to try and put McKenzie’s life into words. Her life is much better understood through moments. Like the moment we jumped on her bed and danced to silly music. Or the moment we pretended to be mermaids and swam around the pool. Even the moment we stayed up all night sharing our dreams, our fears, and our faiths.
When McKenzie passed, I thought I’d never be able to share any more moments with her. And in a way that’s true. But in a much bigger way, I’ve come to realize that plenty of moments in my life still have McKenzie written all over them. From a child being loved and cared for in an orphanage in Africa, to a child being mentored at MARC in Jacksonville; from a beautiful beach sunrise to a beautiful beach sunset; and even from a good love song on the radio to the perfect breakup song, too.
McKenzie loved life in a way that made me love life. And forevermore, she will always be our angel.