Resident musical group helps centenarian celebrate 101

By Almeda Girod
Resident Writer

Last March the Acousti-Cats made a house call to serenade Dorothy (Dottie) Mackin on her 100th birthday. This was followed by a party for 100 guests (one for each year of her birth). However, her 101st birthday will be celebrated with a quiet family dinner as her son, daughter, and their families all live within an hour of Riderwood.

Dottie grew up in Warrenton, Georgia. Throughout her childhood she participated in sports such as soccer, tennis and golf. In 1938, she graduated from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. Wesleyan, founded in 1836, was the first degree-granting women’s college in the world. Dottie returned to Wesleyan the following year as a physical education instructor.

In 1942, Dottie was working as director of the Enlisted Men’s Service Club at Hunter Field in Savannah where she met the love of her life, Don Mackin. Don deployed to North Africa and Europe serving for two and a half years in the Army Air Corps. Dottie says, “We were in love and our love grew through our daily letters.” She still has the letters in her possession. Don was home on furlough in August 1945. The couple had just purchased an engagement ring when they heard that the Japanese had surrendered, ending the war.

They settled in Bethesda, MD where Don was an agent for Traveler’s Insurance and also worked as a professional musician. He was active in his church as a musician, tenor soloist, director of youth and children’s choirs. Dottie worked as an admissions counselor at American University. She later became head of graduate and transfer admissions and then special assistant to the Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. Because of her interest in sports, AU coaches would always come to her hoping for a prospective athlete to be admitted.

Dottie prefers the active lifestyle at Riderwood including Wii bowling, shuffleboard, playing the ukulele, and volunteering at Arbor Ridge. She is a member of the Village Protestant Church. She still loves the Redskins, the Washington Nationals and any tennis on TV.

Dottie was a founding member of the Acousti-Cats. Becky Hedin, Director of the Acousti-Cats says that “Whenever our group is asked to play a special program, Dottie is the first to say ‘Of course we should do that!’”

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