Tags: couple | die | 65-year | marriage

Pennsylvania Couple Dies Hours Apart After 65-Year Marriage

Monday, 17 Dec 2012 10:41 AM

By Michael Mullins

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Born a year apart in the same Pennsylvania county, a couple in their 90s died hours apart after 65 years of marriage.

LaVerne and Robert Werner, 92 and 91 respectively, "did everything together," said their son Barry Werner in an interview with The Tribune-Democrat. "They didn’t always agree with each other, but if one went, the other was going to follow soon."

The Meyersdale, Pa., couple died just 12 hours apart last Tuesday at Siemon’s Lakeview Manor Estates, where LaVerne passed away first, likely due to a series of mini-strokes, according to her son.

Despite the fact that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, Robert realized LaVerne was no longer with them and began acting strange in the hours following her passing, before dying himself, the son said.

LaVerne, a homemaker, spent much of her life caring for her husband, particularly in the final years as his Alzheimer’s worsened. They had moved into the assisted-living home four months earlier.

"He came first . . . She always made sure he had enough to eat. You had to pretty much force her to eat. Her first concern was always for him," recalled Barry Werner.

A World War II veteran, Robert had served in the Battle of Iwo Jima and witnessed the historic raising of the flag on the island in February 1945 by the U.S. Marines as they beat back Japanese forces.

"He didn't talk much about the war. But he did tell (us) about one night being in a foxhole and the Japanese killed his buddy on his left and on his right. The next morning he realized they were killed," said his son.

Werner was shot in the leg by a Japanese machine gunner while attempting to crawl away, but managed to get to safety and survive the conflict. According to his son, when asked why he was shot, his father replied, "I didn’t crawl fast enough."

The couple married after Robert returned from the war.

In addition to their son, the couple is survived by a son-in-law, five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

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