They met in primary school, loved each other their entire adult lives and died together at a nursing home on the same day, a mere 11 hours apart.
Harold Knapke, 91, and Ruth Knapke, 89, passed away on August 11, just days before their 66th wedding anniversary.
Relatives of the couple say their entire 65-year marriage was filled with love and devotion and their final day reflected this.
“In recent years, we often speculated that Dad was still here, in this life, because of Mum,” daughter Margaret said in her eulogy. “It seemed that, even though his health and strength were so very diminished, he couldn’t stop being her protector; it seems he didn’t want to leave her behind.”
“When it became clear that Mum was dying — and Dad understood that — he spent a mostly sleepless night,” son Simon said. “The next day, Friday, there was a certain calm about him, and he began to fail rapidly. As you might know, Dad died 11 hours before Mum did — both of them on Sunday — and we believe he did that as final act of love for her. We believe he wanted to accompany her out of this life and into the next one, and he did.”
Isn't this the kind of marriage we all dream of? One in which we simply cannot live without each other?
Anyone in a long-term relationship knows that maintaining a happy marriage is incredibly difficult. It's the devotion that seems to be missing these days. To devote your life to someone, to your marriage, you are simply saying, "I'm in this, forever". This smooths over any rough patches because you both know that whatever occurs, neither of you is going anywhere.
Is this the key to a 65-year marriage?
At Harold and Ruth's joint funeral, the grandsons carried Harold's casket and the granddaughters carried Ruth's casket.
The couple had raised six children together in a farm house in Ohio, and the funeral procession stopped there on the way to the burial site.
Daughter Carol said: "We figure they’re in heaven dancing now.”
Do you know a couple this devoted? Tell us all about them. We can all use as much inspiration as possible.