New Zealand Couple, Married 54 Years, Died On The Same Day

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Yvonne and Robert Stickland, who raised their four kids on the island of Niue and the city of Auckland, died within eight hours of each other.

Auckland

Together more than half a century, an Auckland, New Zealand, couple died on the same day and due to the same disease: cancer. 

Yvonne Stickland, 73, died after emergency personnel was called to the home, Stuff.co.nz reports. She had an aggressive tumor near her kidney and spine, found in October. 

Her husband, Robert Stickland, 78, died several hours after Yvonne. He had contracted pneumonia and had also been battling lung and liver cancer since his diagnosis in 2015. 

Their children said they had an excellent childhood and couldn't ask for better parents. 

"They used to take us to little places . . . to the beach and camping, little activities," the couple's daughter, Kathleen, 50, said to Stuff.co.nz. "We always used to celebrate our birthdays with parties." 

Robert first fell for Yvonne when he spotted her flying past him on a motorcycle on the island nation of Niue, her birthplace. Robert made Niue his second home. 

On learning his wife had passed away, one of the couple's sons, Ken, 53, said, "[My dad] said 'oh no, oh no'. He practically died of a broken heart."

"He kissed her goodbye on the forehead and on the head and then we had to take him to the hospital," he added.

Even when they were very sick in their home, Robert still kissed Yvonne on the forehead every night. 

A joint funeral for Robert and Yvonne will be held on May 10.  

"We know that he lost the will to live because the love of his life had passed away," Ken said to Stuff.co.nz. "We know that if mum was still with us, he would still be with us."

Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr user Cliffano Subagio

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