TIFFIN, Ohio - An Ohio couple that was married for 69 years died eight hours apart in what their son called an unsurprising end to the love story of two people who did everything together.
Eighty-eight-year-old Gene Warrington and his 86-year-old wife, Pat, died Dec. 27 in Findlay, Ohio, The Advertiser-Tribune in Tiffin reported.
"You could have almost predicted it," said their son, Phil. "They did everything in their life together. They were never apart."
Both had been in hospice care. A few days before their deaths, Gene Warrington had been able to visit his wife's room and hold her hand. Phil Warrington said his father recognized that Pat was in critical condition and did not have long to live.
"He said 'life's not going to be fun anymore,'" the son told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "He went back to his room. He laid down and decided to die. He did will himself to die. I'm sure of that."
Eight hours after Gene died, his wife passed away.
The couple raised three children and had seven grandchildren and a dozen great-grandchildren. They were nearly inseparable, even in failing health, their son said.
Gene and Pat met in junior high school and wed secretly as teenagers while he was home from boot camp before leaving for World War II. "He told me that when he came back from war, he knew he never wanted to be away from her again," Phil Warrington said.
Though it seems improbable, there have been similar cases in the past.
Last August, a California couple died just 4 hours apart after nearly 62 years of marriage. Don Simpson, 90, and his wife Maxine, 87, held hands in side-by-side hospice beds until the end, their family said.
And in April, Kenneth and Helen Felumlee of Nashport, Ohio, both in their early 90s, passed away within a day of each other after 70 years of marriage.