Illinois Couple Welcomes 100th Grandchild: “Could Start Our Own Town!”

Ruth and Leo Zanger
An Illinois couple married for 59 years just welcomed their 100th grandchild Phil Carlson/The Quincy Herald-Whig via AP

Bring out another kiddie table for the holidays! An Illinois couple married for 59 years just welcomed their — wait for it — 100th grandchild!

Leo and Ruth Zanger of Quincy met their 100th grandchild, great-grandson Jaxton Leo, on April 8. The couple, who have 12 children of their own, are already the proud grandparents of 53 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

"The good Lord has just kept sending them. We could start our own town," Leo told the Quincy Herald-Whig. Ruth joked: "There's always room for one more!"

Family gatherings are so overwhelming, in fact, that the 100 kids (plus moms, dads, aunts, uncles, cousins, and more!) rent out a church hall when everyone's in town. Leo and Ruth Zanger's daughter, Donna Lane, is usually the one in charge of the big functions.

"(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?" Lane, the unofficial family historian, explained. (Can you imagine the phone bill!?) 

She added: "Everyone takes their turn (in helping with food), and they all try and outdo each other. We are always getting together for something."

But not everything! The loved ones try to see each other as much as possible, but can get away with showing face for just a few "mandatory" holidays every year. Those include Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Mother's Day and Father's Day.

"It's a very busy family, and we enjoy being around each other," Daniel Zanger, Jaxton's dad, said. "There's never a dull moment."

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