Helen and Joe Auer’s love was so strong, not even the finality of death could keep them apart.
On Oct. 15, Helen passed away peacefully in her home at the age of 94. It was Joe, her husband of 73 years, who found Helen first, reports WFAA8. He walked up to his departed wife, gave her a quick kiss and told her, “Helen, call me home.”
Less than two days later, that call came. At the age of 100, Joe passed away a short 28 hours after Helen died, but the couple’s family says those were some of the longest hours of Joe’s life.
On Wednesday, Helen and Joe will be remembered together with a joint funeral at the same church in Cincinnati, Ohio, where the soulmates married in 1941.
In their 73 years together, the Auers’ relationship outlasted the Depression and World War II, in which Joe spent over three years fighting. During Joe’s deployment, Helen welcomed the pair’s second child, and she sent her husband a photo of herself with their two kids. Joe carried that photo through the war, and he continued to keep the worn picture in his wallet until the day he died.
The couple welcomed 10 kids into the world over their long lives together, and they are survived by 9 of those children, along with 16 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. All of them feel blessed to have come from such devoted and compassionate parents.
“It’s a joyous time,” said their daughter Mary Jo Reiners. “Mom and Dad lived a blessed life.”
While Helen and Joe had their share of hardships, their family says their loyalty to one another allowed them to gently weather any troubles life sent their way.
“They were simple, humble people. They wanted nothing and got everything in return,” said the Auers’ son Jerry. “If somebody were thinking of getting married, they could do a lot worse than to look at my parents.”
Now, with only a brief break apart, Helen and Joe are starting a new chapter of their story together.