For those of us who love to hear the love stories of the kind “I am hers and she is mine from this day, until the end of my days,” let me introduce to you the love story of an old couple who spent more than 70 years together and the most surprising of this, died on the same day.
Isabell Whitney and Preble Staver met on a blind date in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during their studies back in 1940.
Both of them joined the Allies’ effort against the Nazis during World War II. While Isabell worked as a Navy nurse stationed in Maryland, Preble became a Marine and earned a Bronze Star for his bravery. The couple married on February 15, 1946, five months after the war ended. They had 5 children and were together through thick and thin, as one of their sons died tragically while playing football.
Their daughter spoke to People magazine saying:
They were great people. Mom really taught me that you can’t change another person but you can change your attitude towards them. Dad was a bit of a prickly pear! Dad was the strict one. Mom tried to be strict, but we knew what we could get away with her. It was pretty much a father rules the roost sort of thing.
In 2013, Isabell was diagnosed with dementia and together with her husband moved into a long-term facility located in Norfolk and both of them were set in different rooms.
On her wife’s 96th birthday Preble wanted to have one more nap with her wife for a few hours and the staff made it happen as Laurie further explained:
There was not a single word spoken between the two of them. They held hands and just fell asleep. I told dad, This is mom’s birthday present for you. He was just so happy that he got to take his nap with her.
Some days later, on October 25 Laurie was told that her mother is sick and it’s time to say goodbye. She then took her father and spent the last hours with her:
He held her hand, and it was just so tender. I asked him if he wanted to stay after the prayers, and he shook his head. I said, ‘Okay, but you know that means you’re going to have to let go of her hand?’ I was crying, and he was crying.
Her mother passed away later that day and so did her dad a few hours later.
Laurie shared the story of her parents saying:
Mom and dad really lived out that, if you make a commitment, and even though life gets rough or life gets in the way, you work through life, and you live your life together.
They were born 14 days apart and died just 14 hours apart. How strange life can be!
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