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Harriet and John "Jack" Morrison, who met in 1955, were holing hands when Jack passed first just hours before Harriet died

By Joelle Goldstein
January 20, 2020 08:09 PM
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A 65-year love story came to a bittersweet end this month when a Missouri couple died in a nursing home on the same day, just 20 hours apart.

“Inseparable” from the beginning, Harriet and John “Jack” Morrison spent their final moments together side-by-side at the Woodlands Nursing Home and Alternative Hospice near St. Louis, according to Jack’s obituary.

The couple was holding hands in their beds before Jack, 86, died at 3:34 a.m. on Jan. 11. Harriet, 83, died later that evening at 11:53 p.m., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

“I’m sad. But I know they’re at peace and they’re back together,” Jack and Harriet’s niece Sue Wagener told the outlet. “It truly was a love story for the books.”

Wagener said the pair met in 1955 while Jack was driving a family-run charter bus that Harriet happened to be on with her father and his touring drum and bugle corp. On Halloween of that year, they went on their first date.

“They went to a little diner and never separated from that day on,” Wagener told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Six months after that fateful day, Jack and Harriet tied the knot on May 5, 1956, according to the outlet. Jack made a living running his father’s V-K Bus Lines company while Harriet spent her days raising their two sons and Wagener.

Throughout their successful marriage, Jack and Harriet did nearly everything together, from mundane errands to cooking dinner, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Jack would even get up before Harriet each morning to make her coffee and wait hours in the car as she went to the hairdresser, according to the outlet.

“You didn’t see Jack unless you saw Harriet,” their longtime friend Wayne Price told the local publication.

For over 65 years, “they lived together almost inseparable,” Jack’s obituary reads, adding that the couple “enjoyed traveling and being with friends and family.”

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A little over a year ago, however, Jack and Harriet’s health both began to decline, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

It started with a fall for Harriet while she was walking their dog, which led to a broken pelvis and hip. Later on, she developed dementia and moved into the nursing home.

Jack eventually joined his beloved wife in the facility in September 2019 after he also fell, breaking his neck and needing a wheelchair, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Though they lived four doors down from each other in the nursing home, the couple would almost always be by each other’s side, holding hands and taking naps.

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In December, things took a turn for the worst when Harriet stopped eating and drinking, according to the outlet. Heartbroken, Jack also reportedly stopped eating and drinking when Wagener relayed the upsetting news about his wife’s health.

By Jan. 3, things were looking grim for Harriet and a nurse asked Wagener if she could move the furniture out of Jack’s room so Harriet could be with him in her final moments.

As it turned out, Jack was the first to go, with Harriet surrounded by her relatives before she also passed.

“The nursing staff moved their beds next to each other so they could be together in their final hours,” the couple’s obituaries read. “For over 65 years they lived together, laughed together, loved together, and passed away together. The perfect ending to the perfect love story.”