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Father of 18 dies in Spain at 56

Big-hearted Chema Postigo was a man of extraordinary generosity.
Devra Torres | Mar 16 2017 | comment 1

Taken from


Jose Maria Chema Postigo, the father of a family said to be the largest in Spain, passed away on March 7 at the age of 56 after a short battle with cancer. In 2015 his family was named “Big European Family of the Year”. He is survived by 15 of his 18 children and his wife Rosa Pich. An American friend, Devra Torres, remembers him. 

* * * * * 

Our beloved friend Chema died this week. He and his wife Rosa had eighteen children, but that wasn’t the most unusual thing about him. 

I’ll explain.

The first time we met him, we’d recently moved to Spain, and our toddler daughter was about to have minor surgery. Chema grinned encouragingly, urged us heartily not to worry, and reminded us how our children belong to God, who can be trusted to care for them at least as well as we can. Coming from such a winsome man, these sentiments carried a lot of weight.

Chema was constantly finding novel ways to inconvenience himself for the good of others, and he always managed to look happy about it. We appreciated his optimism but cluelessly expressed some doubt that he truly understood what it was to face the prospect of a young daughter’s operation.

Later we learned he had lost two children himself and had several others with life-threatening heart conditions.

Another memory that captures Chema: the time he lent us his car. Any friend might do that, you’re thinking? Not exactly. He lent us–a couple of foreigners and our five very small and very partially civilized children–his minivan, to take a road trip from Barcelona to Rome, there to weave among the Eternal City’s ancient cobblestone alleyways, mopeds, and notoriously high-strung motorists. For a solid week. In his car.

Greater love than that hath no friend I ever heard of.

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