'Til Death Do Us Part: Couple Married for 63 Years Die Minutes Apart
An elderly couple died just 20 minutes apart at a South Dakota nursing home after nearly 63 years of marriage.
Henry De Lange and Jeannette De Lange first met as teenagers in the 40s at a skating rink in Sioux Falls, marrying a few years later in October 1953, according to KSFY.
In recent years, Jeannette suffered from Alzheimer's disease and required nursing home care since 2011. Henry, despite battling prostate cancer himself, managed to visit Jeannette every day.
A Korean War veteran, Henry had been undergoing treatment at his local VA until the doctors there said there was nothing more that could be done for him.
That's when he went to the the Platte Care Center, so he would be able to share a room with his wife.
On Sunday, July 31, the nursing home notified the De Lange's five children that they should come to see their parents, who both had failing health.
At 5:10 p.m., Jeanette passed away.
"She passed away very, very peacefully. Incredibly peacefully," son Lee De Lange told KSFY. "My brother Keith said to my dad, 'Mom's gone to heaven. You don't have to fight anymore, you can go too if you want.' He was laying in bed. He, for the first time, opened his eyes, looked intently over where mom was. Closed his eyes back down. Laid back down, died about five or ten minutes after that."
Henry passed away at 5:30 p.m., just 20 minutes after his beloved wife.
"We're calling it a beautiful act of God's providential love and mercy. You don't pray for it because it seems mean but you couldn't ask for anything more beautiful," Lee said.
Watch the local report above and read the De Lange's obituary, here.