Mackenzie Stuart, 1989–2011

FFRF member Mackenzie Taylor Stuart, 21, died Jan. 22, 2011, from injuries sustained in a car accident.

Known to her friends and family as Mac, Kenz, Kenzie or just Z, she was born July 14, 1989, in Fargo, N.D., to Carolyn and Gregory Stuart. Home-schooled through eighth grade, she graduated in 2007 from South Dearborn High School, Aurora, Ind., where she received many academic and athletic awards, including a Lilly Scholarship. She was a senior at Butler University and was a semester away from graduating with majors in computer science and mathematics. At Butler she was Math Club vice president, a Science Club member, played club soccer and volunteered at the Humane Society.

In Aurora she played youth soccer, ran cross-country and track and lettered in track four years. She was a 10-year member of 4-H and a four-year member of South Dearborn High’s academic team. Her favorite 4-H project was Cats. She won Grand Champion Cat six straight years with five different family cats.

Mackenzie was very creative. One day she might be filming magic shows with her brother, Sean. Another day she would be knitting, drawing, writing or sewing. She was an accomplished pianist and loved to sing in the Young Voices chorus. She was adept at juggling was just starting to learn the diabolo. Although a quiet and reserved person deep down, Mackenzie’s offbeat sense of humor kept her family laughing.

Survivors include her parents, Gregory and Carolyn Mann Stuart of Aurora; a younger brother Sean; an older sister Madison (Ben) Eisen, Chicopee, Mass.; her grandparents, Norm and Sue Stuart, Indianapolis: and many cousins, aunts and uncles.

A memorial visitation was held Jan. 30 at the Aurora Lions Club. Memorials may be made to South Dearborn Dollars for Scholars.

The Stuart family are household FFRF members. “Mackenzie was a second-generation atheist who was raised steeped in science and books, which fill our house,” said her father. “We had such high hopes for her future.”

Freedom From Religion Foundation