Dr. Constance “Connie” McKenzie-Mason, 79 of the West Brighton section of Staten Island, New York, passed away on Saturday, June 18, 2022 at Hackensack Meridian Health JFK University Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey. The daughter of the late George W. McKenzie and Virginia McKenzie, Connie was the beloved mother of A. Russell McKenzie Wood and his wife, Celia, and loving grandmother to Devyn. She was predeceased by her husband, H. Douglas Mason, and her brother, George W. McKenzie. Connie was a published psychologist and college professor.
Connie was born in Brooklyn, New York. While finishing her undergraduate studies at Mary Baldwin University in Virginia, she considered entering the seminary and becoming a member of the clergy, as she had always looked to help those in distress. Instead, she chose to enter the world of helping professionals. Connie was a Case Manager for Child Protective Services in Virginia where she assisted impoverished families throughout the Blue Ridge Mountains. When she returned to Brooklyn, she first taught psychology at the Interboro Institute in New York, New York, before joining the Psychology Department at Touro College of New York.
In 1984, she married H. Douglas Mason, an artist from New York City. In him, she found her soulmate and together, along with her son, Russ, they moved to Staten Island where they built their life together. In 1998, Connie established New Horizons of Staten Island, a counseling center, alongside her colleague, Maria Orjuela.
Connie had a love of nature and adored tending to her garden. In the summertime, she grew everything from fruit trees and flowers to vegetables and herbs. She was also an avid canner of preserves, pickles and tomato sauce. Connie enjoyed visiting the shore, often absconding to Ocean Grove, New Jersey, where she spent time focusing on her academic studies and postgraduate work.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a memorial gathering in honor of Connie taking place at Matthew Funeral Home on Staten Island this coming Friday, June 24th, from 5-9pm. A pastor-led service will commence at 8pm. There will be a private burial on a later date yet to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Connie’s name to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Treatment Center.