Couple married for 63 yrs die minutes apart
An American couple married over six decades has proved that even death is not strong enough to keep them apart. The couple from South Dakota passed away just minutes apart on the same day and in the same room at a nursing home where both were admitted for separate health issues.
Jeanette De Lange, 87 and suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, died first at 5:10 pm, and just 20 minutes later, her 86-year-old husband Henry, who was fighting prostate cancer, breathed his last.
After they married in 1953, Henry, a Korean War Veteran, and Jeanette, a musician, shifted to Platte, where they lived with their five children. Jeanette had been in nursing home care since 2011 and her husband visited her “once a day, twice, or maybe three times a day” but following a worsening health condition, he was also admitted to the same nursing home and shared a room with his wife, said Lee De Lange, one of their sons. Lee said there was a divine quality to having both parents die at nearly the same time.
“We’re calling it a beautiful act of God’s providential love and mercy,” said Lee. “You don’t pray for it because it seems mean but you couldn’t ask for anything more beautiful.”
Family gathered with Jeanette was reading the Bible at the time she passed away. “We read Psalm 103. We didn’t quite get done,” said Lee. “She passed away very, very peacefully. Incredibly peacefully.”
Lee said his brother told his father “mom’s gone to heaven” and that he did not have to fight anymore. He could let go and join her if he wished, said the son.
Twenty minutes later, at 5:30 pm, Henry De Lange did just that. His children remember him briefly opening his eyes and looking at his wife before he died. In a strange coincidence, Lee said when he looked at the clock in the room it had stopped at the exact time Henry passed away. No one could explain why the battery-operated clock stopped. “Amazing. A sign from God that was the right time.”
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