“I guess I’m feeling like everybody else who’s a grandmamma,” the 91-year-old said.
Marrying young, Ruth Calhoun said, was the trend responsible for the long line of lives.
“As soon as they got out of school and went to work, they got married and started producing,” she said.
Ruth Calhoun said the baby’s birth reminded her of her own youth.
“I had no idea I’d live to see all these generations of grandchildren. I can remember back when I was young, I told my mother [Wilma James], ‘I’ll never live to see 40 years old.’ That’s the way you think when you are young,” she said. “I had forgotten about that till this baby came.”
The five-pound baby, born two months prematurely to Hinesville resident Brandy Mariah Miller, made a deep impression.
“Kimberleigh has the cutest, sweetest smile and the biggest, soft, warm brown eyes,” said her great-great grandmother Beverly Calhoun, who uses her maiden name. “Every time we see her, she just lightens up our hearts.”
Kimberleigh also lifted the status of the family matriarch.
“When Mom mentioned to the other ladies in the apartment complex of the impending birth of her sixth generation family member, they stated they had never known of anyone to have six living generations,” Beverly Calhoun said. “I did research this online after hearing their comments and learned six living generations is indeed a rare occurrence.”
It is so uncommon only the Gladys Sweeting family in the U.K. holds the current official record, while 23 years ago the Guinness Book of World Records verified a seven-generation living family descended from Augusta Bunge of the U.S.
Beverly Calhoun said Ruth Calhoun herself is “rare and remarkable,” working two jobs to support Beverly and her sisters Grace and Hazel when they were children, becoming an operating room nurse and learning to drive at age 50.
“My mom’s only concession to her aging has been that of voluntarily no longer wishing to drive,” Beverly Calhoun said. “She still lives alone, prepares her meals, does her own housework and takes joy in each and every day.”
She also takes joy in her progeny.
“I’ve got grandchildren scattered all over,” Ruth Calhoun said. “They’re a lot of fun, I tell you.”