Couple Married For More Than 70 Years Die Minutes Apart

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"They were very family-oriented and really loved us all," the couple's granddaughter, Stephanie Welch, said to the Leicester Mercury of her grandparents.

A United Kingdom couple who had been married for a whopping 71 years passed away just four minutes apart from each other, The Independent reports.

When they died, the spouses were three miles apart at separate institutions for the elderly — which makes the timing all the more astounding. 

According to the Leicester Mercury, Wilf Russell, 93, passed away at 6:50 a.m. on March 29. Vera Russell, 91, passed away at 6:54 a.m. on the very same day.

"I think [Vera] was waiting for him to go," the couple's granddaughter, Stephanie Welch, said to the Leicester Mercury. "She was broken hearted."

Welch told the Leicester Mercury that her grandfather was diagnosed with dementia last year. 

"My nan went to see him recently and he didn't recognise her at all — her health started deteriorating from that day," Welch said. "I went to visit her at Leicester Royal Infirmary on Sunday and she opened her eyes and asked me where Wilf was. The last thing she said to me was, 'We're a right pair, aren't we?'"

The couple met when they were adolescents: Wilf was 18, and Vera was 16. They were engaged before Wilf went off to fight in Word War II in North Africa and Italy. 

Later, they married and Wilf worked as an engineer. The couple are survived by two sons, five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. 

"Vera very much spoke for them as a couple and Wilf went along with whatever she said," Welch said. "Maybe that's why they lasted so long!"

According to Welch, the two were inseparable until their health began to decline. 

"They had a lot in common and never spent a night apart throughout their entire marriage," Welch said. 

Does anybody have more tissues on hand? 

Banner/thumbnail credit: Flickr user Garry Knight

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