Biography: Janie Mae Mack-Usher was 93 years old when she passed away on Friday, September 18, 2020 at East Haven Nursing Home in The Bronx.
Janie’s journey began on April 21, 1927 in New Zion, South Carolina. She was the
daughter of the late John W. McKenzie and the late Katie L. Brown McKenzie.
Janie attended public school in Sumter, South Carolina where she grew up. She graduated from Morris College in Sumter, South Carolina. At an early age, she joined the Bethlehem Baptist Church where she worshipped until moving to New York in the early fifties.
On December 6, 1945, she gave birth to her first son Harry Lee McKenzie. In the 1950’s, she met her beloved serviceman Jeffro Usher who was stationed in the military in South Carolina. Shortly afterwards, Jeffro and Janie relocated to New York to begin a new life and two children were born from this union. Jeffrey Usher, Jr. and Joel Thomas Usher who preceded Janie in death. She treasured her “boys” and embraced every moment with them.
Sister Janie was a spiritual Christian woman who accepted Christ in her life early and loved to read her bible. Starting in the 1960’s, she joined St. Luke A.M.E. Church in Harlem. She was a faithful member of The Usher Board and The Drama Ministry. She attended church services regularly until her health began to fail. She continued to receive Communion every first Sunday while at the Nursing Home. Janie’s life was an example of Ephesians 4:32 “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (KJV)
Janie worked various jobs throughout her life. She was a skilled licensed beautician and retired as a Nurses Aide.
Janie loved animals especially dogs. She enjoyed traveling, watching baseball games, soap operas and CNN. She also enjoyed hosting her club meeting dinners, Summer barbecues in her backyard and yearly birthday parties for her children and grandchildren. Janie had excellent taste in home décor and fashion (especially fine hats). Anyone who knew Janie, fondly remembers her being in her words “dap” on Sunday morning or any event that she attended. Throughout the years, all the children in Janie’s family could recite “hand me my purse and go to the store for me and bring me back my change…you hear”. We all knew that we were going to be allowed to keep the change or be given something extra but our beloved Janie had to let you know that she was in charge. Janie had a lively personality and always made people around her laugh. She had a hearty laugh. She was an independent woman, strong willed and minced no words whenever necessary. When stormy days surrounded her family, Janie helped her family through rough times. She had a heart that gave unselfishly. Janie made our life so special and is someone who won’t be forgotten. Remembering her will be easy. We all have our fond memories.
Until we meet again, Janie leaves to mourn her sons Harry L. McKenzie and Jeffrey Usher, Jr. of The Bronx. Four granddaughters, Veronica Chance of Columbus, NJ, Renee P. McKenzie-Springer and Jennifer Brown both from The Bronx, and Isis L. McKenzie of Brooklyn, NY. Two grandsons, Jason H. McKenzie of Perth Amboy, NJ and Kha-A L. McKenzie of Brooklyn, NY. A host of nephews, nieces, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, a host of family and friends.