M. James “Jim” Mackenzie Jr., 87, of Southampton, N.J., formerly of Carteret County, went to be with the Lord Thursday, April 1, 2021, at the New Jersey Fireman’s home in Boonton, N.J.

Funeral services for Jim will be held privately at the request of the family.

Son of the late M. James Sr. and Pearl Mickle Mackenzie and sister of the late Peggy Mackenzie, Jim was born Sept. 1, 1933, in Camden N.J. He received a B.S. in natural science from Muhlenberg College in 1957 and a M.S. in chemistry from State College of New Jersey in 1969. Jim and his first wife, Sally Park, were married in July of 1960 and lived in Medford, N.J., until moving to North Carolina in 1998. Sally sadly passed away after a marriage of 40.5 years. Later, Jim married his second wife, Peggy, a good friend of Sally’s and a Mount Holly native. Jim also enjoyed building model trains and boats and was a volunteer and member of the Friends of Maritime Museum in Beaufort. He was dedicated to Bible study and helping others.    

Fire service and teaching were Jim’s passions. He started his 41-year career in fire service in 1960 as a volunteer. He served as fire protection engineer and fire chief for Merck & Co. Inc. in Rahway, N.J., from 1973-88. After retiring from Merck, Jim went on to become the president and founder of Teaberry Associates in Beaufort as safety and fire protection consultants. For more than 39 years, Jim served as fire service instructor at various colleges, including Jersey City State College, Rutgers University and Coastal Carolina Community College. He was chief instructor of the Burlington County Fire Academy and for 10 years and published a magazine, Haz-Mat Technology. He is also a life member of the Taunton Fire Co. in Medford, where he previously served as chief.

Jim is survived by his loving wife, Peggy Atkinson Rush Mackenzie; her children, Allison and husband John Heller and Tamah and husband Jason Freni; stepgrandchildren, Josh, Seth and Brooke Freni; and first wife’s niece and nephews, Bridget Patterson and John and Craig Park.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jim’s memory to First Presbyterian Church of Morehead City, 1604 Arendell St., Morehead City, NC 28557, or to South River-Merrimon Fire Department, 1595 South River Road, Beaufort, NC 28516.

Arrangements are by Perinchief Chapels.

(Paid obituary)

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