Couple Welcomes Their 100th Grandchild, Says “We Could Start Our Own Town”

State   |   Sarah Zagorski   |   May 26, 2015   |   6:12PM   |   Springfield, IL

In Illinois, Leo and Ruth Zanger are celebrating 59 years of marriage and the birth of their 100th grandchild. Leo said, “The good Lord has just kept sending them. We could start our own town.” The Daily Mail reports that the couple has 12 children, 53 grandchildren, 46 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Ruth added, “There’s always room for one more.”

The couple’s oldest child, Linda, is 58-year-old and their youngest is Joe, who is 31-years-old. In between are Debbie, Donna, David, Greg, Daniel, Mike, Steve, Chuck, Matt, and Ernie. On April 8th, the couple’s grandson, Austin, welcomed his second child and the couple’s hundredth grandchild into the world, Jaxton.

For family get-togethers, the Zangers usually rent out a church hall and share the responsibilities regarding food preparation. Leo and0 Ruth’s daughter, Donna, said, “Everyone takes their turn (in helping with food), and they all try and outdo each other. We are always getting together for something.”

Donna’s also been named the family historian because she keeps track of all the birth records, phone numbers and anniversaries in the family. She said,”(Other family members) always say, ‘Since you already have all of the phone numbers, can you just text (or call) them and let them know about whatever the event is?’ ”

Here’s more:

Although the Zangers say they have plenty of excuses to gather, unofficial ‘mandatory’ gatherings are Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day. ‘We’re all really close. We get together a lot,’ Austin told the Whig.



‘There’s always a lot of interaction. We spend a lot of time with each other. I know there are a lot of families half of our size who only get together maybe once or twice a year.’

Austin said that he and his wife didn’t know that Jaxton would be the 100th grandchild until Donna, the unofficial family historian, told them.

‘It’s pretty special — 100 grandkids, that’s a big deal,’ Austin told the Whig.

Ashleigh said she is extremely proud of being the mother of grandchild No.100.

The Zangers describe themselves as close-knit with, all of the grandchildren knowing Ruth and Leo and much of the family living in or near Quincy.

A family gathering usually consists of 50 pounds of ham or 10 turkeys, according to NBC. But the family has had a lot of time to hone a routine for supplies and duties.

‘It’s a very busy family, and we enjoy being around each other,’ Daniel told the Whig. ‘There’s never a dull moment. We always had a lot of fun growing up.’