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Palm Coast Monday, Apr. 14, 2014 5 years ago

To the man who made everyone feel important

by: Brian McMillan Executive Editor

One of the signs of a truly humble person is someone who will give praise and credit, without any thought of reciprocation. And that’s what defined Jock MacKenzie’s golf writing for the Palm Coast Observer and elsewhere. He wanted to make others feel good, and the world needs more people with that kind of mission in life. Jock died of pneumonia on April 7 in Palm Coast. He was 88.

I remember Jock stopping by our office regularly to report on the reaction his column was getting from the golf community.

“I don’t understand it, Brian, I really don’t,” he would say. “At church, I must have had 20 people come up to me and thank me for writing the column. You’ve got a good thing going here at the Observer.”

Although he wrote the columns, he was always giving the Observer the credit. He always had a smile on his face. He would write about his golf pals and recognize their skills on the course, but also note that they were genuinely good people.

I got a call last week from an editor at a newspaper in New Hampshire, where Jock got his start, and in their April 10 article, they told some great stories. One man who worked with Jock for three decades, Paul LeBlanc, said, “He had the gift of always making people feel they were important.”

He went on to say: “I remember the Christmas parties at the station when Jock would address the employees. He would have the Ray Coniff Singers song about the real purpose of Christmas in the background. He would point out every person on the staff and talk about what they were doing and how well they were doing. He would never say a word about himself. And that was how he always was. He never talked about himself.”

In one of his last blogs on, Jock praised John Sbordone, director at City Repertory Theatre. Sbordone is an avid golfer whose name is in our golf scores section every week. He recalled playing golf with Jock.

“He was trying to keep alive some of the best values of what he understood in sport and through golf and friendship,” Sbordone said. “He was a very sweet old man.”

Thanks for sharing your good will with us, Jock. You will be missed.


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