Mackenzie Elise “Kenzi” Valentyn
VERONA, Wis. — Mackenzie Elise “Kenzi” Valentyn, age 30, died peacefully at UW Hospital in Madison, on Monday, March 6, 2017, after a long, courageous battle with a series of physical challenges. Kenzi was born on May 30, 1986, in Madison, the daughter of Tim and Nancy Valentyn.
She graduated from Verona Area High School in 2004. Following graduation, Kenzi worked at the school’s cafe, the Cat’s Den. After completing her work at the Cat’s Den, Kenzi worked at Pizza Hut and Pinnacle Health Club, where she was a source of humor, joy, and wit for everyone with whom she came in contact. She loved her family, her dog, Angel and her Wisconsin Badgers. When her body allowed it, she loved to attend country music concerts, take trips with her family and sell her homemade cookies at her brothers’ basketball games.
Kenzi was a remarkably generous, funny and kind person who grabbed life by the horns and lit up a room with her presence. Despite all of her physical limitations, Kenzi was fiercely independent, determined and strong-willed. She never asked for sympathy and always put the interests of others before herself. Kenzi was honest, genuine and fearless. She was also a teacher. Anyone who knew Kenzi learned valuable lessons about humility, strength and passion. While her family grieves her loss, they are comforted in knowing that her pain is finally over. Kenzi made an indelible mark on anyone who knew her and unequivocally made the world a better place.
Kenzi is survived by her parents, Tim and Nancy Valentyn; and her brothers, Brett (Mackenzie) and Connor. She was preceded in death by her grandfathers, Robert Valentyn and Dennis Scallon. A visitation will be held at GUNDERSON FITCHBURG FUNERAL HOME, 2950 Chapel Valley Road, Fitchburg, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday, March 17, 2017. A celebration of Kenzi’s life will be held at MONONA TERRACE COMMUNITY AND CONVENTION CENTER, 1 John Nolen Drive, Madison, on Saturday, March 18, 2017, from 2 p.m until 5 p.m., including a short memorial ceremony beginning at 2:30 p.m. Feel free to wear red to the celebration of Kenzi’s life.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the McPherson Eye Research Institute, 9407 WIMR, 1111 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53705, or to the Kenzi Valentyn Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of Gunderson Funeral Home. The family would like to thank all of Kenzi’s teachers at Verona Area High School, her job coaches at Advanced Employment, her Pinnacle Health and Fitness and Pizza Hut families and all of the doctors and hospital staff at UW Hospital for their care, patience and friendship. Online condolences may be made at gundersonfh.com.
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