Donald McKenzie was born in Brandon on 1887. He attended Turriff School near the village of Forrest, then school in Brandon and Manitoba Agricultural College in Winnipeg. In 1914 he married Katie Belle Cole, and together they raised a family of four boys and four girls.

He and his twin brother operated the family farm. Donald became involved in the movement to organize farmers and was secretary of the Forrest local, United Farmers of Manitoba.

He was also secretary of the Brandon District U.F.M. and later vice president. He became a member of the Advisory Board on Tariffs and Taxation for Canada. He was appointed Minister of Mines and Minister in charge of Manitoba Power Commission and Minister of Agriculture. In 1936 he became vice-president and director of United Grain Growers Ltd. In 1942, at the request of the Federal Government, he became the Chief Commissioner of the Board of Grain Commissioners for Canada.

Donald retired in 1956 to many glowing tributes for his years in public service which touched so many people in so many areas. A dedicated volunteer, he was also involved with the Canadian Chamber of commerce, as president of the International Peace Garden, board member and president of the Manitoba Associated Boards of Trade. He was trustee and member of the Board of St. Andrews River Heights United Church, President of the Canadian Club in Winnipeg, member of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba, and member of the J.W. Dafoe foundation Committee. Donald was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Reconstruction to study problems of postwar reconstruction, was an executive member of the National Farm Chemurgic Committee, and a member of the Prairie Regional Committee of the National Research Council.

When Gordon died in 1963 the Manitoba Legislature paid special tribute to his service to the province and Canada. Donald is buried in Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg.