April 14, 1942 – July 2, 2019

It is with sad and heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our much loved husband, dad, grandpa and friend, Dale, at the age of 77.  On a beautiful summer day, Dale died peacefully in his sleep at his favorite place on earth; his family farm.

Dale was born on April 14, 1942 in Calgary, Alberta and was the only child of Eveline and Donald Mackenzie.  Dale grew up on the family farm just outside of Cremona and spent his childhood years there.   Upon entering high school, he met Leja Thompson and they married in September of 1961.  Soon after marrying, Dale and Leja moved to Calgary where Dale joined the Calgary Fire Department at the age of 21 and was a proud serving member of the Department for 40 years until his retirement in 2002. Being a firefighter wasn’t just a job to Dale, it was a way of life.  Beyond performing his duties, Dale also spent much of his time volunteering.  In the early years he faithfully volunteered with the Firefighters Christmas Party for under privileged children, collecting, repairing and distributing toys.  He was also instrumental in advocating for ambulances and firetrucks to be outfitted with stuffed animals for children who are present or injured during traumatic calls.  He was also tireless in advocating for and implementing safety measures for firefighters such as thermal imaging cameras and hearing protection.  Along with other members of the Department, Dale was also instrumental in bringing the World Police Fire Games to Calgary in 1997.  Participating in bringing the Games to Calgary was one of the highlights of his career.  Post retirement, Dale continued to be involved through the creation of the Firefighters Benevolent Society which exists to assist current and retired firefighters with expenses for any extraordinary medical needs they may have.

Outside of work, Dale was first and foremost, a devoted family man to his wife Leja, his daughters Rita and Allison, and his granddaughters Mackenzie-Anne and Taylor who were the pride and joy of his life.  Together they enjoyed years of camping, hiking, skiing, travelling and many times together at the farm, almost always ending the day around a huge bonfire.  Dale also loved gardening, barbequing, being a handyman and spending lots of time with family and friends.  Dale’s faith was an integral part of his life, and he and Leja spent many years serving together at Rockyview Alliance Church.  They also supported several missions organizations and had the opportunity to visit the country of Papua New Guinea where their good friends spent their life serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators.  Dale quietly lived a consistent life of faith, always eager to help others and never hesitant to share the source of his hope and strength when asked. 

Dale was loved deeply by his family and is survived by his wife Leja, his daughter Rita, his daughter Allison and her fiancé Gary, his granddaughter Mackenzie-Anne, and granddaughter Taylor and her fiancé Jacques.   He will be missed more than words can express.

A Celebration of Dale’s Life will be held on Tuesday, July 9 at 2:00 pm at Foothills Alliance Church (333 Edgepark Blvd. NW Calgary, AB).

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Calgary Firefighter Benevolent Society or Wycliffe Bible Translators of Canada.  Black attire is not necessary at the service.

** Please note:
Re-watch the Live stream recording of Dale’s Memorial Service here:

Arrangements entrusted to Cochrane Country Funeral Home, Lawrence (Larry) Slywka, Funeral Director. Ph: 403-932-1039.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

  1. On July 4, 2019 at 5:04 pm Calgary Fire Department Pensioners Association Said:

    Our sincere condolences to Leja and the MacKenzie Family on the passing of “Brother” Dale who was a very well liked Firefighter and Calgary Firefighters Benevolent Society Chair person and Board member who became a personal friend to those who worked with him.He was always ready to help those in need while never really complaining or talking about his own health concerns.Rest in peace Dale, we will miss you.

  2. On July 4, 2019 at 6:11 pm Meryl & Marilyn Schellenberg Said:

    Dear Leja, Rita, Allison, Mackenzie-Anne and Taylor,
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all as you go through these difficult days. Dale’s love for each of you was evident in all that he did and we know you will miss him more than words can express.
    We are thankful for our many fond memories of times spent together camping in Kananaskis, in Kelowna and on your farm.

  3. On July 5, 2019 at 3:39 am Beverley Parkin Said:

    Leja, and girls – very very sorry for your loss of such a great man, Dale. He was my Bat Chief, for a bit, while I supervised at the Alarm Room for Fire Dispatch. Dale was integral in making decisions, good or bad, and he would always back us up as civilians, and treated us equally, which I always appreciated. He was far too young to leave this world, particularly, when he was enjoying his family and life so much. May he rest in peace, and may you find some sort of peace as well, in time.

  4. On July 5, 2019 at 5:01 am Geoff and Janel Said:

    Praying for you all as you walk through the valley of the shadow of death. Our loving Saviour will walk alongside of you and be close to you all. May you lean on Him completely in this difficult time.

  5. On July 5, 2019 at 5:31 am Garth Caron Said:

    My heartfelt condolences to Leja and family,it’s never easy loosing your partner your dad and. Your grandpa but it’s nice to know you had such good times together. Dale was quite a mentor too a lot of people . God bless. He was one of the good ones

  6. On July 5, 2019 at 5:38 am Lois & Dennis McIvor Said:

    Rest in peace Dale. Condolences,to Dale’s Family,Brother Firefighter’s & friends.

  7. On July 5, 2019 at 5:55 am Ed & Sharon Kam Said:

    Words cannot express the sadness in our hearts when hearing of Dale’s passing. The summers of our family holidays with Dale, Leja, Rita and Allison will always be cherished. Working with Dale was always a special time. He was a great mentor to anyone who had the interest to learn. From the entire Kam family you have our most sincere condolences. Our thoughts our with you through this difficult time.

  8. On July 5, 2019 at 6:06 am Larry and Kathy Gerber Said:

    Our love and prayers are with you as you walk this very difficult road. Dales affection and pride for each of you was very evident. His smile, his kind words, his wonderful sense of humour, his gentle spirit made him a very special man. Dale was always interested in others. Many years of great memories spent with the MacKenzie family flood our minds and we are thankful. Dale will always be part of our lives.

  9. On July 5, 2019 at 7:28 am Murray Knowler Said:

    My sincere condolences to the McKenzie family. I had the pleasure of working with Dale and I considered him to be an important mentor to myself and to countless other firefighters. When faced with a tough decision I knew I couldn’t go wrong by asking myself, what would Dale do? Beyond being a natural leader, Dale was one of the most decent people I have ever known.

  10. On July 5, 2019 at 8:48 am Dave and Laura Smith Said:

    Leja and Girls,
    Our love, prayers and heartfelt condolences are sent out to you at this sad and difficult time. May the loving memories be your comfort and fill your hearts with peace knowing Dale is in the loving arms of Jesus. We enjoyed Dale’s sense of humour and the love he showed for his family and friends. We will truly miss you Dale and will cherish the fun times spent together over the years.

  11. On July 5, 2019 at 9:38 am Trevor and Lori Yeats Said:

    Our love and prayers go out to Dale’s family and friends at this time. I worked with Dale in my early years on the CFD downtown at #1. I look back with a smile at our full contact games of volleyball in the gym at the old #1. And our numerous games of poker dice. Dale was an honest,hard working,and trusted team member at any of our numerous calls, and I was very proud to be able to call him a friend.

  12. On July 5, 2019 at 12:18 pm Sheilah Daniels Said:

    With heaviest of hearts I send my deepest condolences to Dale’s family. He was the gentlest of souls and the kindest of friends. I will miss his chats and jokes and of course, his kind words. Blessed be, Dale. See you on the flip side!

  13. On July 5, 2019 at 1:59 pm Garth Rabel Said:

    Shocked and saddened by the loss of Chief Mackenzie. He was kind and considerate man whose friendship I truly appreciated. The commitment and love he shared with his wife, family,friends and community was warm, genuine and wonderful!I will never forget his tireless support of Chief Wayne Morris while he was on his cancer journey.During this difficult and emotional time Dale was the dedicated friend which we should all aspire to be… in peace Chief.

  14. On July 6, 2019 at 7:22 am Jack and Colette Said:

    Dear Leja and family
    We were very sorry to hear of Dales passing.
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you as you journey through this sad time.
    We pray that your memories of Dale carry you and comfort you.
    He was a great man.
    Jack and Colette Ross

  15. On July 6, 2019 at 10:18 am Ian Crosby Said:

    Dear Leja, Rita, Allison, Mackenzie-Anne and Taylor,
    Im very sorry for your loss. Dale was an extraordinary man. I had the privilege of serving along side with him on the Firefighter Benevolent Society board. He was a friend and mentor to me. I will miss him dearly.

  16. On July 7, 2019 at 8:22 am Paul Gough Said:

    Dale was and always will be remembered as a “fireman’s fireman” in every role he played both on and off the department. His family can rest assured he had a great influence on shaping the CFD to what it is today. Rest in peace.

  17. On July 7, 2019 at 6:51 pm Bud and Lauri Brunner Said:

    Leja, Rita, Allison, MacKenzie-Anne and Taylor:
    Many thoughts and prayers for you during this difficult season of mourning. Dale was an amazing man and he left behind a Godly legacy in the five of you. Much love, Bud, Lauri, Colby, Morgan and Piper Brunner

  18. On July 8, 2019 at 7:54 am Barbara Jensen Said:

    I met Dale when I worked alongside Chief Wayne Morris & some meetings with the Firefighter Benevolent Society. Dale was always a gentleman and a mentor.
    To Dales family, may the days ahead bring you comfort in this difficult time.
    Rest in Peace Dale.

  19. On July 8, 2019 at 2:15 pm Ken & Anne Norris Said:

    Leja, Rita, Allison,and family: We were so sorry to hear of Dale’s passing. Praying that God will be your comfort during this very difficult time. Words fail at such a great lose in your life.

  20. On July 8, 2019 at 4:44 pm Vivian & Harley Walsh Said:

    Dear Leja and family,
    We are sorry to learn of Dales passing. It was a privilege to know him and we
    Enjoyed our visits at church. He will be missed. We’re praying Gods strength to be with you

  21. On July 8, 2019 at 6:10 pm Harold and Ramona Boettger Said:

    To the Mackenzie family.
    So sorry to hear of your loss. Sorry, we are unable to come to the celebration of life, but we are thinkinģ of you all.

  22. On July 8, 2019 at 8:43 pm Jocelyn Martin Said:

    I’m very saddened to hear the passing of Dale. I met him when I started working with the Firefighters Benevolent Society. He was always very supportive of the team and expresses his strong belief in the legacy of Chief Wayne Morris. He was always concerned and take matters in his hands when it comes to providing assistance to both active and retired firefighters. He provided guidance and a helping hand to us all despite his health issues over the years. He is a great loss to all the people who know him. May his soul Rest In Peace.
    To Dale’s family, please accept my sincere sympathy. I pray for your peace and comfort during this difficult period.

  23. On July 9, 2019 at 6:31 am Sean and Jill Zimmer Said:

    Dale was such a rock to Leja, Rita, Allison, MacKenzie-Anne and Taylor and we grieve with you his loss. Thank you God for his life and now we begin to celebrate the immense contribution Dale has left for all of us to enjoy and appreciate. May the blessing of his life continue to be embraced by all who knew him and are recipients of that grace. All our love and many, many prayers to come….Sean and Jill Zimmer alongside our kids: Chelsea, Layton, Haley, Ethan and Emily…

  24. On July 9, 2019 at 9:28 am Frank and Ruth Klassen Said:

    Leja and family….we are saddened to hear of Dales passing. Praying God will comfort you during these difficult days.
    May the memories you hold in your hearts bring comfort and peace.
    Frank and Ruth Klassen

  25. On July 9, 2019 at 10:54 am Elaine Baumann Said:

    I worked with Dale at the World Police Fire Games he was always so supportive and I always considered him a friend I am sorry I won’t be able to attend his funeral today My condolences to the family, the Calgary Fire Department RIP Dale you will always be remembered

  26. On July 14, 2019 at 1:40 pm Karen Jones Said:

    Sincere condolences to Leja and the Mackenzie family on the enormous loss of “sir” Dale. May a lifetime of memories warm your heart and let you always cherish his memory.

  27. On July 15, 2019 at 10:12 am Heather MacKay Said:

    To the MacKenzie family,
    Dale and I worked together at the Chief’s Conference, the World Police Fire Games and through the Firefighters Benevolent Society. Dale and I also met in 1995 with the Melbourne World Police Fire Games. He was a great support and warm and caring man. I was sad to hear of his passing. May his memory live on through his family. Dale will be missed. Blessings and prayers. Heather MacKay

  28. On July 15, 2019 at 1:42 pm Linda Frederick Said:

    I met a Dale at the World Police Fire Games. Dale always had a kind word or a humorous comment to brighten the day. I respected him immensely as he was always a steady hand and a solid rock. It was obvious how much he loved his family and how devoted he was to them. I can not imagine how difficult this time must be for his family and friends. I will miss him. Keep the happy memories close to your heart. Happy trails Dale.