We are brokenhearted to share the news of Fern’s passing. On Oct. 21, 2021, at age 81, Fern left us to be with the angels. While residing in Phoenix Arizona, she was bit by a mosquito carrying the West Nile Virus. West Nile Encephalitis took her life in a few short weeks. Fern passed peacefully in her sleep with her family by her side and holding her hands.

If you ever had the privilege to meet Fern MacKenzie, you would not forget her! She was a darling five-foot-four-inch woman who was as sharp as a tack, as smart as a whip, as stylish as a monarch, and as generous as Santa Claus! To know her was a joy…and often came with many unique, wonderful and memorable stories!

Fern was a real estate icon. She came into the industry in the days when women were less commonly seen in the workforce, and she worked incredibly hard, smartly and astutely, to take care of her clients. She had an intuitive knowledge about homes and market cycles, allowing her to soar in the industry for over five decades. Real estate sparked her passion, fueled her soul, and provided her an opportunity to support her clients at the highest level. She was a “house whisperer,” and the greatest advocate any client could ask for. 

While real estate was the most fulfilling career, her biggest personal loves were her family and close friends. She was as loyal as they come. In addition to her own three children, she had so many others who thought of her as a “second mom.” To her children and “extended family” she was always there to provide motherly love, guidance and support, and often even a room in her home, when someone was in need. She was a phenomenal mom, mentor and caregiver, disciplinarian and supporter, and friend and parent as her children became adults. Her children have soared in their personal and adult lives from the love and care that she gave to them.

Her friends knew her as the most loyal and supportive person a friend could be. They always knew they could rely on Fern. She was extraordinarily generous, she loved to travel, collect art and antiques. She loved to dine, entertain, go to events and contributed to all. Fern loved to give, with no expectation for anything in return. She found joy in sharing gifts with others, and making the lives of those around her better (and more stylish)!

She was set in her ways, stoic, and as picky as they come when it came to food! Friends and waitstaff alike will always remember her finicky orders and appreciation of fine foods, and the joy her special orders brought to her! We loved Fern, and all of her uniqueness!

Fern’s loving husband of almost 20 years, Render Crayton, will miss her greatly. Fern and Render met later in life, through introduction by their mutual dear friends. They enjoyed their time together traveling, living in Sun Valley, vacationing in Hawaii, curating wonderful homes and properties in many states and retiring in Phoenix.

Fern is survived by her husband, Render Crayton, her three children, Cindy Biedebach, Brad Rowen (Raquel), and Lysi Bishop (Scott); step-son Doug Crayton; and stepchildren she helped raise, Andrew MacKenzie and Jocelyn MacKenzie Harrison (Jody); grandchildren, MacKenzie Bishop Velten (Beau), Colby Bishop, Katie Biedebach, Allie Biedebach, Brooke Rowen, Abby Rowen; step grandchildren, Lauren Biedebach Martin (Cameron), Max Harrison and Chloe Harrison, Emmie Lind and Francis Lind; great grandson/stepgrandson, Hayes Velten and Grayson Martin; her sister, Adrienne Brent; niece, Lauren Brent; and grand nephew, Blake Brent.

Fern had a few friends who preceded her in death but within a few days of Fern’s passing: both her best friend from junior high school, Judie Wolf, and her beloved dog, Rolex (15-years-old), passed. She was also preceded in death by her parents, Edith and Louis Litt.

Fern left this world a better place for having been here. Fern, you will live in our hearts forever!!!

We love you and will miss you always. We know that the angels in heaven are happy to have you by their sides, and we can’t wait to see you again! 

If you have a wonderful story about Fern, whether growing up with her in Southern California, attending USC with her, knowing her in Sun Valley/Ketchum, Idaho, where she relocated in 1979 to raise her children after being recently divorced, or if you knew her from travels, or living in Phoenix; we would love to hear from you at celebratingfern@gmail.com.

Fern requested a private burial with just her family, at her favorite church near her home in Arizona. In lieu of flowers, Fern would have most appreciated donations to her church, in memory of Fern MacKenzie: Saint Barnabas Episcopal Church at 6715 N. Mockingbird Lane, Scottsdale, AZ 85253 or www.saintbarnabas.org.