People.com Human Interest Couple Married for 53 Years Hold Hands as They Die of Coronavirus on the Same Day Betty and Curtis Tarpley died of coronavirus on June 18 in Texas By Jason Duaine Hahn Jason Duaine Hahn Website Jason Hahn is a Human Interest and Sports Reporter for PEOPLE. He's worked at PEOPLE's Los Angeles Bureau as a writer and reporter since 2017 and has interviewed the likes of Kobe Bryant, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tom Brady. He has a B.A. in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University. He previously worked for Complex Magazine in New York City. People Editorial Guidelines Published on July 1, 2020 03:51 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Facebook A couple who were married for more than half a century reportedly succumbed to coronavirus complications on the same day in Texas. According to CNN, Betty and Curtis Tarpley, 80 and 79, died within an hour of each other on June 18 and held hands during their final minutes together. The couple's son, Tim Tarpley, told the network that Betty showed symptoms of the deadly disease just before she was taken to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth on June 9. Curtis was admitted to the same hospital just two days later. Tarpley said Betty phoned both him and his sister, telling them she was at peace with dying as her condition continued to decline. "I just screamed, 'No!' I was like, 'I've got too much, too many other things to do in this life that I want to show you, and I'm not ready,'" he recalled to CNN. Once the family updated Curtis on Betty's worsening prognosis, his health began to suffer as well. "I really feel like he like he was fighting because he was supposed to and once he knew she wasn't gonna make it, then he was okay with, you know, taking it to the house," Tarpley said of his father. 30th Birthday Bash in Texas Leads to COVID Infections in 18 Family Members: ‘It’s Heartbreaking’ Getty Images "I think he fought because he thought the team needed him, but he was also tired and he was in pain," he continued. While Betty and Curtis — who were married for 53 years — were in separate rooms during treatment, they were placed together when they entered comfort care. Blake Throne, an ICU nurse at the hospital, did his best to make that happen, according to CNN. Mike Pence Encourages Wearing Face Masks: It ‘Will Slow the Spread of the Coronavirus’ "It felt like the right thing to do was to get them together," Throne told the outlet. "I started inquiring about if it was even possible and then I started shaking the tree to try to get it done." Betty died about 20 minutes after they were placed together, and Curtis followed around 45 minutes later. While they weren't able to speak to each other in their final moments, Tarpley believes his parents were still able to comfort each other. RELATED VIDEO: New York Area Requiring 14-Day Quarantine for Travelers from States with Soaring Coronavirus Cases "I honestly think they were so incapacitated that all they could do was talk with their souls or something, a special unspoken language," he said. "They obviously knew each other well enough that they could communicate without words." Coronavirus continues to spread around the United States, with the country seeing more than 2.6 million cases and 127,762 deaths from the disease as of Wednesday, according to the New York Times. As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.