LIFESTYLE
26/02/2015 09:12 GMT | Updated 26/02/2015 09:59 GMT

Husband And Wife Die Holding Hands Just Hours Apart After 67 Years Of Marriage

After 67 years of marriage, Floyd and Violet Hartwig died just five hours apart.

With their hospital beds pushed together, the pair held hands right up until Floyd's last breath.

The couple, from Easton, California, had fought off illness for many years.

Floyd, who lived to the age of 90, previously had colon and bladder cancer and was diagnosed with kidney failure two weeks before he died.

Violet, who lived to the age of 89, had dementia and had suffered a number of strokes.

“I think that’s what kept them going … that they each had the other one,” the Hartwigs’ daughter, Donna Scharton tells The Fresno Bee in the video above.

“They didn’t want to go without each other.”

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Courtesy of the family/The Fresno Bee

The Hartwigs met as children at primary school but didn't begin dating until the 1940s when Floyd was on leave from the Navy during World War II.

While he was away, the pair kept in touch through love letters like the one below:

Love you my dearest and want you so. Vi, I heard our song this evening and it sure did make me homesick for you. Honey, did you ever get a record of it? I certainly hope so as I want to listen to it and have you in my arms at the same time.

In August 1947 they married, and went on to have three children.

"You had a sense that they had a connection, and I think that connection just came more and more and especially in the last months of their lives," Scharton says.

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Courtesy of the family/The Fresno Bee

Even after Floyd was diagnosed with cancer, his priority was always looking after his wife.

“He would tell the doctor, ‘I’m OK, I want Vi fixed,'" their daughter adds.

Scharton says when the family when to the funeral home and saw the two caskets, they knew that it "was meant to be".

She said: "We felt blessed because we knew that's what they wanted."

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