Life is what we make of it, and sometimes, family is too!
Growing up, Margaret “Peggy” Koller was an only child who always dreamed of having a large family. As a teenager in the early 1940s, she considered becoming a nun and even applied when she was in junior high school, but the man she’d eventually marry talked her out of it.
Peggy married William Koller and settled down in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania. The couple welcomed 11 children during their almost-70 years of marriage. William passed away in 2008, but their hundreds of descendants have kept Peggy very busy.
“I wanted to have a big family,” Peggy said. “I think it’s difficult being an only child. It’s lonely.”
She definitely got her wish!
Peggy’s 11 children gave her 56 grandchildren. Now Peggy is 99 years old, and she just got to hold her 100th great-grandson, a baby boy named after her!
Koller William Balster beat out his cousin Colleen by one day to become number 100, though their family agrees that the most important thing is both babies were born healthy. Granddaughter Chrissy Balster couldn’t wait to introduce baby Koller with his namesake.
“First thing out of the hospital, we went to Grandmom’s, introduced her to Koller,” Chrissy said. “She was absolutely ecstatic.”
“I’ve always loved the name Cole,” explained Chrissy’s husband Patrick Balster. “And Chrissy one day was like, ‘What about Koller?’ So we thought about it. Then we went Koller William, which William Koller was (Chrissy’s) grandfather’s name.”
It’s a fitting tribute for Peggy, who has always been actively involved in her family’s lives. In all these years she has never once missed a family function.
“She’s really an inspiration,” said Peggy’s grandson, Greg Stokes. “And to be the age she is and still going about it every day — it’s unbelievable.”
Peggy’s family believes that her inclusion in the family is what has kept her so young and vibrant. That, and working out at least twice a day!
“I think faith is the other one, I’d say,” said Chrissy. “Faith and family. That’s what’s been keeping her going.”
Congratulations, Peggy! What an amazing family she has created. It just goes to show you, if you don’t get the life you want, make your life into the one you want!
Share this story to celebrate Peggy’s 100th great-grandson.
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