updated 9/7/2007 1:35:46 PM ET 2007-09-07T17:35:46

Leading New Zealand philanthropist Sir Roy McKenzie has died, his family said this week. He was 84.

McKenzie spent much of his life managing the JR McKenzie Trust, which was founded by his father Sir John McKenzie from the profits of a family national chain of budget department stores.

He also established the Roy McKenzie Foundation as well as a number of other community organizations, including the Center for the Study of Families at New Zealand's Victoria University.

McKenzie preferred to be known as a "community volunteer" rather than a philanthropist.

Robyn Scott, executive director of Philanthropy New Zealand which McKenzie also founded, said he had left "a wonderful legacy for the future."

"He believed passionately in the power of people giving back and he viewed himself as just part of being able to make that happen," Scott said.

McKenzie, who received a knighthood from Britain's Queen Elizabeth in 1989, captained the New Zealand skiing team at the 1952 Oslo Winter Olympics.

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