The Ohio native received quite a gift for her 86th birthday: her 86th great-grandchild!
Yes, you read that correctly. 86th…on her 86th!
Blakely Grace Frey, Marie’s latest great-grandchild, was born on June 23.
“It was something special. I don’t think there are many people that can say they have their 86th great-grandchild on their 86th birthday. They’re all special but that’s just a record,” she told TODAY.
The proud great-grandma is by no means a stranger to big families. She was one of seven siblings, had 15 children of her own, and currently has 68 grandkids. Blakely’s dad Kenny Frey is one of Marie’s many grandchildren.
“It was a great feeling that I was able to show her my fifth child and her fifth great-grandchild from me,” he explained to TODAY.
Growing up as the daughter of farmers in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, Marie toyed with the idea of becoming a nun, but changed direction after discovering it’d force her to give up her passion: dancing.
“I was working for someone at the time that said I’d either be a nun or get married and have a bunch of kids. They weren’t wrong when they said I’d be having a lot of kids,” Marie said.
And it’s a good thing Marie didn’t give up dancing, because it ultimately led her to Gerald Frey, the man who would go on to become her longtime husband.