Couple Dies 20 Minutes Apart After 63 Years of Marriage: 'You Couldn't Ask for Anything More Beautiful,' Says Son
"My brother Keith said to my dad, 'Mom's gone to heaven. You don't have to fight anymore,' " son Lee De Lange said
After 63 years of marriage, South Dakota couple Henry and Jeanette De Lange died just 20 minutes apart.
The funeral was Monday.
Jeanette, 87, suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and had required nursing home care since 2011, reports KSFY. Her husband, Henry, 86, was battling prostate cancer but still managed to visit the love of his life every day.
“Dad visited mom once a day, twice, or maybe three times a day,” the couple’s son, Lee De Lange, told the TV station. “It was very sweet.”
Henry, a Korean War veteran, had been undergoing treatment at his local VA until the doctors there said there was nothing more that could be done for him.
“The VA was doing as much as they could until about 7-8 weeks ago. Said there isn’t more they could do,” Lee said.
Soon enough, Henry and Jeanette were back together, this time at an area nursing home where they were able to share a room.
On July 31, two of the couple’s five children spent the day with their parents, knowing neither one of them had much time left on earth.
“[The doctor] said your dad’s pulse is worse. I wonder if he’ll go first,” Lee recalled. “About five minutes later, he said, ‘I think your mom will go very soon.’ It was 5:05 p.m. at that point.”
At 5:10, Jeanette died peacefully as her children read to her and her husband from the Bible.
After Jeanette was gone, the couple’s son, Keith De Lange, turned to his father and told him he could stop fighting if he wanted to.
“My brother Keith said to my dad, ‘Mom’s gone to heaven. You don’t have to fight anymore, you can go too if you want,’ ” Lee recalled.
Then, Henry opened his eyes and looked over at his beloved wife and laid back down. Five to ten minutes after that, Lee said, his father was gone. He had died at 5:30, just 20 minutes after Jeanette.
“We’re calling it a beautiful act of God’s providential love and mercy,” Lee said. “You don’t pray for it because it seems mean but you couldn’t ask for anything more beautiful.”