Metro-East News

Meet Schnucks’ 90-year-old bagger. Today is his birthday.

Meet the 90-year-old grocery bagger who works in Fairview Heights

John Mackin Jr. bags groceries for Schnucks in Fairview Heights. He began working as a bagger in 2001. On Thursday, Mackin will turn 90 years old.
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John Mackin Jr. bags groceries for Schnucks in Fairview Heights. He began working as a bagger in 2001. On Thursday, Mackin will turn 90 years old.

Before bagging your butter and bread in paper or plastic, John Mackin Jr. takes time to greet every customer in his line at Schnucks.

“How are you?” he asks with a friendly smile. “Do you need help out?

The grandfather of nine works four days a week at the Fairview Heights store where employees recently surprised him with a cake and balloons for his 90th birthday.

“It’s a special day,” store manager Tony Mathews said. “John is a special person.”

At 90, Mackin enjoys coming to work. He was hired on the spot 16 years ago when he grew bored of spending his days on the golf course.

“It’s just perfect,” Mackin said. “I like the routine. I work the same hours each week.”

The job keeps him busy, but Mackin always takes a break to watch a few minutes of “The Price is Right” in the morning.

When he isn’t at work, he reserves Thursdays for his group of friends at Holy Trinity Church in Fairview Heights.

His friends at Schnucks always look forward to his return.

“He always has a smile on his face,” customer service manager Susie Doney. “He’s always telling jokes.”

Doney said she admires Mackin’s drive. She’s also impressed that Mackin still bowls every week.

“He’s just an amazing man,” she said on the eve of his birthday.

A card from employees was filled with well wishes and birthday salutes.

“Happy Birthday to you,” one customer told him after he bagged her groceries. “Keep it going.”

Mackin smiled.

Cara Anthony: 618-239-2471, @CaraRAnthony

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