In their 70 years of marriage, American couple Kenneth and Helen Felumlee never spent a single night apart, so when Helen passed away last week, aged 92, her children weren’t surprised their beloved father, aged 91, died just 15.5 hours later.
“We knew when one went, the other was going to go,” daughter Linda Cody told the Zanesville Times Recorder. “We wanted them to go together, and they did.”
When Kenneth’s leg was amputated 2.5 years ago, Helen began caring for him, despite her own failing health. She continued to do so until just three weeks before her death, when she became too frail to care for him.
On the one occasion the couple were nearly separated, on an overnight ferry crossing, the Felumlees had to sleep in bunk beds. Rather than spending the night apart, they choose to cuddle up on the bottom bunk.
Kenneth and Helen met when they were just 18 and 19, after been introduced to each other by Kenneth’s ex-girlfriend.
It was love at first sight and the couple eloped on February 20, 1944 after dating for three years.
They told their parents they were off for a day out in Kentucky to visit Kenneth’s former basketball coach. Instead, they headed to the local courthouse and married.
When they returned home, the newlyweds were too scared to tell their parents, so they lived apart for the weeks it took Kenneth to pluck up the courage and break the news.
They did eventually move in together and Helen became pregnant almost immediately. The child was first of eight children the couple would eventually have.
Ohio’s Zanesville Times Recorder reports that about 12 hours after Helen passed away, Kenneth declared, “Mum’s dead” and quickly began to fade. He died a few short hours later.
“It was a wonderful going away party,” his daughter Linda said. “He was ready. He just didn’t want to leave her here by herself.”
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