Couple, Married for 66 Years, Died Hours Apart in "Final Act of Love"

Harold Knapke met his wife Ruth in third grade, began their romance during World War II and married soon afterwards. The couple died on the same day, just hours apart, after 66 years of marriage. Their children called their deaths "final act of love":

[The couple's daughter Margaret] said Ruth contracted a rare infection shortly before her death and it was clear she was not going to recover. When Margaret and her siblings told her father the news, she recalled, he took it calmly but they saw a "shift" in him.

Just a few days later, Margaret and one of her sisters noticed that their father appeared to be very ill, she said.

"My sister said, 'It's almost like he's trying to catch up to Mom.'"

Three days later, Harold died, at 7:30 a.m.

"I think he realized what was happening and wanted to pave the way for her," the couple's son, Ted Knapke, said.

After their father died, the Knapke children surrounded their mother -- who was not lucid -- and told her, "Dad's up there waiting. They got the card game going and it's time you got up there. Don't stick around for us," Ted Knapke said.

Ruth Knapke died that night, at 6:30 p.m.

Harold was 91 and Ruth was 89.

Allie Malloy of CNN has the touching story - Thanks Tiffany!


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