Sunday Tacoma’s Allen A.M.E. church celebrated member Melvinnie Christian’s 100th birthday.
In 2015, KING 5 profiled Christian when she was a beautician at age 98. She retired earlier this year after a battle with pneumonia. Christian had been a hairstylist for 84 years. Her state-issued license expires on Tuesday, which is her 100th birthday.
Christian is a character. In 2015, she had the entire KING 5 crew call her 'Granny'.
"I'm 45 years old," she joked with a younger church member Sunday.
Allen A.M.E. pastor Reverend Anthony Steele said Christian had been a church member since that late 1940s.
“I wish I could tell you she’s our oldest member, she’s actually our 2nd oldest,” said Steele. The oldest is 105, he said.
Christian had been doing hair out of her Tacoma home since 1948. She's had her clients, including Gladys Grant, for decades. She’d styled Grant’s mother’s hair and Grant’s children’s hair, totaling three generations. That was pretty common among Christian’s clients.
“She’s still feisty,” said her son Leon Jr. “(She’s) a role model and entrepreneur. Thinking of the Depression and Jim Crow laws, she never let that phase her.”