Sister Betty McKenzie, CSJ

Obituary of Sister Betty McKenzie, CSJ

Betty McKenzie, CSJ

Faithful friend, avid reader, and ever-present advocate for women and the wounded, this relentless, tenacious, and passionate promoter of peace, was born on January 14, 1930, to Bernard and Frances (Stauffer) McKenzie, in Rochester, MN, and died peacefully in the early morning of June 22, 2023, at Carondelet Village in St. Paul. Elizabeth Anne entered the community of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1949. In 1958, she received a BA in History from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, and later an MA in Geography from Mankato State University (1970).  Betty’s early career was spent teaching at St. Patrick, St. John, St. Luke, Nativity of our Lord, and Highland Catholic in St. Paul, St. Michael in Stillwater, St. Peter in Richfield, and St. Lawrence and DeLaSalle in Minneapolis. After more than 25 years of teaching, Betty joined the staff at the College of St. Catherine where she spent the next 9 years working in the bursar’s office. From there her efforts were spent teaching English as a Second Language for the Lao Family Center in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood. Much of her life was spent as a peacekeeper and social activist, particularly with the Honeywell Project, as a member of Peace House, Veterans for Peace, Women Against Military Madness, protesting at Alliant Techsystems in the Twin Cities, and most passionately protesting to close the School of the Americas (SOA) in Fort Benning, Georgia. By her living witness and consequence of this work, Betty hoped to compel and change the hearts of those in power and inspire all others to act, speak out, and work for peace.

Betty is preceded in death by her parents, her brother Robert and sister Dorothy (Heinlein) McKenzie. She is survived by nieces and nephews; grandnieces and nephews; many dear friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and Consociates. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, July 19, at 11:00 AM, in Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel, 1880 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, with burial following at Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights. Memorials preferred to the Sisters of St. Joseph Ministries Foundation.


Dear Betty, rest in love and peace.

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Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Our Lady of Presentation
1880 Randolph Ave
St. Paul, Minnesota, United States


1:30 pm - 2:00 pm
Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Resurrection Cemetery
2101 Lexington Ave S
Mendota Heights, Minnesota, United States
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