Pennsylvania Widow Celebrates Birth of 100th Great-Grandchild – She Almost Became a Nun Once

Decades ago, a woman was about to become a nun after applying for the convent in high school. In 2022, she celebrated the birth of her 100th great-grandchild ― a rare milestone only a few can achieve.

What do you think is the perfect number of children to have? Many couples prefer having only two, while others surpass that number and plan to have a big family. Perhaps, the latter dream of being surrounded by many grandchildren when they get old.

The woman in today’s story believed in having a big family. Once her children grew and had kids of their own, she witnessed her descendants increase in number. She hadn’t imagined having a hundred great-grandchildren when she almost became a nun decades ago.

Marguerite Koller with her 100th great-grandchild. | Source: Philadelphia


When the Pennsylvania woman, Marguerite Koller, was in high school, she decided to become a nun. She didn’t reveal what inspired her to apply to the convent, but she gave credit to one person, her late husband, for stopping her from choosing the difficult path.

Despite getting accepted by the convent, the then-young Marguerite ditched her plans after hearing what William Koller had to say. At the time, she didn’t know he would be the one she would spend the rest of her life with. She recalled:

“I actually applied when I was a junior in high school, but he [William] talked me out of it.”


Right before World War II, Marguerite and William tied the knot in 1942. From day one, Marguerite, who didn’t have siblings, was sure she wanted to have a big family. A year after the war, the couple welcomed their first baby. Marguerite recounted:

“I wanted to have a big family. I think it’s difficult being an only child ― it’s lonely.”

At first, Marguerite’s goal was to have 12 children, but the painful process of childbirth and the difficulties that followed it made her rethink. After having a few children, she realized raising them wasn’t as easy as it sounded.

Marguerite Koller with her 100th great-grandchild and his parents. | Source: Philadelphia


Instead of having 12 children, Marguerite settled for one less. The presence of her eleven sons and daughters lighted up her house. There was never a dull moment in her life while she raised her kids.

Unfortunately, William passed away in 2008, leaving his wife behind. However, she wasn’t alone. She had her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to look after her and keep her busy.

As of 2022, Marguerite has eleven children, fifty-six grandchildren, and a hundred great-grandchildren. As a young high school girl, Marguerite had never imagined having an extraordinarily large family.

Marguerite Koller with Christine Balster, her husband, and child. | Source: Philadelphia


The three generations after Marguerite were full of talented people. There were lawyers, real-estate agents, teachers, and even a businessman who managed the family business ― Koller Funeral Home. However, none of Marguerite’s descendants fulfilled her secret wish. She said jokingly:

“I always hoped for a doctor but never got one.”

With over 150 people in her family, Marguerite never has to worry about not having company. Her descendants keep visiting her, and one can’t set foot in her house on occasions like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

Christine Balster, her husband, and child. | Source: Philadelphia


Originally scheduled to be the 99th great-grandchild, Christine Balster’s baby came into this world almost a week late and bagged the special rank of being Marguerite’s 100th great-grandchild. While holding the newest addition to her list of descendants, Marguerite said:

“I’m just thinking about how lucky I am.”

With her husband’s consent, Balster named her little one after her grandfather to honor him. She revealed her husband liked the name “Kole,” so they decided to use “Koller” as the first name and “William” as the middle name.


Having 167 people in her family, the almost-100-year-old Marguerite, who Balster described as a “lovely, sweet, and strong” woman, feels blessed whenever the entire family visits her on special occasions.

Balster revealed that on occasions like Thanksgiving, the family comes to meet Marguerite in groups. When the first set of people meets her, they leave, and others come in to see the woman they respect the most.

For Marguerite’s family, there is only one catch in having 167 family members ― the confusion between the same names. Three other female family members had the same name as Marguerite: her daughter, a granddaughter, and a great-granddaughter.

Even after life gave her many surprises, Marguerite managed to leave a legacy for her not-so-average family. She will turn 100 later in 2022 and has 100 great-grandchildren who light up her days with their presence.

Share this story with your friends and family to tell them about Marguerite’s fantastic journey from almost becoming a nun to having three generations of people who look up to her.

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