This is how you promote a culture of life: Get married, bear children, honor family life, seek to live good lives and perpetuate the family lineage for generations.
Ninety-nine-year-old Peggy Koller did just that with her husband. As the Koller family grand matriarch, she recently celebrated the birth of her 100th great-grandchild.
Peggy Koller is the subject of this week’s Feel-Good Friday.
A Pennsylvania woman is celebrating the birth of her 100th great-grandchild.
Peggy Koller, 99, of Blue Bell, got to hold the baby, who’s not only special because he’s number 100, but because his name is special, too.
Koller William Balster.
“First thing out of the hospital, we went to Grandmom’s, introduced her to Koller. She was absolutely ecstatic,” the baby’s mother, Chrissy Balster, said.
“I’ve always loved the name Cole. And Chrissy one day was like, ‘What about Koller?'” the baby’s father, Patrick Balster, said. “So we thought about it. Then we went Koller William, which William Koller was (Chrissy’s) grandfather’s name.”
This is quite stupendous since Peggy Koller grew up as an only child. She also planned to become a nun. Good thing William Koller convinced her otherwise!
Philadelphia ABC affiliate WPVI profiled Peggy back in 2015, when she revealed she applied to be a nun in high school.
“I actually applied when I was a junior in high school, but (William) talked me out of it,” Peggy told WPVI.
They got married and welcomed 11 children. Then came 56 grandchildren.
“I wanted to have a big family. I think it’s difficult being an only child. It’s lonely,” Peggy said.
In two generations that vision of never being lonely has become a reality. The family lineage includes lawyers, educators, real estate developers, and a Koller son who is taking over the family business: Koller Funeral Home in Philadelphia.
“I always hoped for a doctor but never got one,” Peggy said with a laugh.
There was a bit of a contest for who would claim the honor of 100th great-grandchild. Koller’s grandaughters Balster and her cousin Colleen had due dates one day apart. Baby Koller William squeaked in to receive that special honor. But 100 and 101 are healthy and happy.
Parents Patrick and Chrissy Balster gave insight into Grandma Peggy’s strength and long life.
“She does work out twice a day, which is insane,” Patrick said.
“I think faith is the other one, I’d say. Faith and family. That’s what’s been keeping her going,” Chrissy said.
Koller’s reasons to continue living in this life continue to grow. But she maintains hope for the next life too.
There’s also the ability to roll with the punches of life, or resilience, that could be a contributing factor. Much can change if you continue to embrace and fight for the life of those you love.