Ilene Rita McKenzie, 81, of Methuen, MA, peacefully passed away on January 13, 2022, at her home, surrounded by her loving family. Born on November 18, 1940, she was the daughter to the late Sumner and Rita (Baker) Junkins-Haldane.
Born and raised in Methuen, Ilene graduated from high school and attended business school. She soon met the love of her life, Paul McKenzie, and they started a family together. Ilene loved her family more than anything, and most enjoyed spending time with them. She traveled, went on cruises, trips to Vegas, watching tennis, and playing cards. Ilene had a special knack for cards and quickly became an ace at any card game that she learned, which made her a highly sought-after partner for canasta and bridge. However, her favorite card game was poker, and she enjoyed weekly card games with her long-time friends. After the love of her life passed, she found companionship with her long-time significant other, Joe Gereczy. Ilene also was an accomplished and advanced pianist, and achieved her high school yearbook career goal of becoming a piano teacher. In addition, she worked in error correction for the IRS during tax season, and the Hassey Dental office now in Methuen. Ilene chose to retire from the workforce early to pursue her real passion of caring for her grandchildren, Michelle, Cody, Kyle and Johanna.
Along with her parents, Ilene is pre-deceased by her husband of forty years, Paul McKenzie; sons, Paul McKenzie,Jr., and Brian McKenzie; and her sisters, Joyce Hamel and Joanne Wood.
Ilene will be deeply missed and is survived by her daughter, Tracy Sheehan and her husband, Paul Palermo, of Methuen, MA; her companion, Joseph Gereczy, siblings; Janet Crowe and her husband, Hartley, of Hernando, FL, Jean Wilk and her husband Dave, of Atkinson, NH, Jennifer Spaeth, and her husband Kenny, of Hernando, FL, Jaye Cotter, and her husband Dave, of St. Augustine, FL; grandchildren, Michelle Vieweg and her significant other, Junior Nolasco, Cody Sheehan and his significant other, Laurie Cusack, Kyle Sheehan and his wife Charitee Sheehan, and Johanna McKenzie; great-grandchildren, Julianna Lucchesi, Emmit Maiben, Elliana Nolasco, Isabella Sheehan, Austin Sheehan, and Koen Sheehan as well as two bonus great-grandchildren, Jaydhen Nolasco and Jermayne Nolasco; brothers-in-law, Roger Hamel of Sandown, NH, and Matt Trombadore of Lincoln, MA. Ilene is also survived by several nieces, nephews, and extended family members.
Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend calling hours from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, at Cataudella Funeral Home, 126 Pleasant Valley Street, Methuen. A funeral service will follow at 11:30 AM in the funeral home chapel. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the American Pancreatic Cancer Foundation, https://pancreasfoundation.org/take-action-2/donate-to-npf/.