A Stone Mountain woman is preparing to celebrate a major milestone: her 109th birthday. Relda Mackins will turn 109 years old on Sunday, Aug. 7.
Relda was born in Jellico, Tennessee in 1913 and raised in Kentucky. She moved to Detroit after graduation to study cosmetology and to join the Alpha Chi Pi Omega sorority.
In Michigan, she met the love of her life, Henry Mackins. According to family members, he was the only car owner in Jackson, Michigan, and she was tired of walking around the town. The couple married in 1941 and had a 66-year marriage.
Mackins owned and operated her own beauty salon, Bea’s Beauty Box, for 30 years. She went to volunteer at the local hospital after retiring and stayed for another 30 years. She became the organization’s oldest volunteer before being forced to retire at the age of 91.
Mackins and her husband relocated to Georgia in 2005 to be closer to their daughter and family, eventually settling at Antioch Manor Estates. Mackins was given the nickname “Honey Bea” at the Manor because she was so eager to help others in need. She cooked, cleaned, and baked delectable treats for everyone.
When she isn’t assisting others, Mackins can be found riding her 35-year-old stationary bike. The centenarian has always been a devout Christian. She volunteered at one of the local Baptist churches in Michigan. She joined the Antioch AME Church after moving to Georgia. On her birthday in August, the church intends to recognize and celebrate her.
When asked about her secret to having a long life, Mackin responded, “you must ask JC (Jesus Christ) about that.”
Mackin is a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, great aunt, and godmother.