Married for 72 years and died holding hands
Most people no longer take the wedding vow “Till death do us part” seriously anymore...but not this couple who died while holding hands after being with each other for 72 years....
Have you cried at your desk yet today? No?
Well…grab that box of tissues, because you probably need them in a while.
They lived together, they loved together and after four children and 72 years of marriage, they died while holding hands. This is Norma and Gordon Yeager’s remarkable story of love in a time when rampant stories of cheating spouses and bitter divorces have clouded our perception of true love.
A love like this
Norma Stock had only just graduated high school when she accepted Gordon Yeager’s marriage proposal.The couple got married in Iowa on a spring day in 1939 and went on to have four children together.
Things are not always rosy and smooth for the lovebirds…but they persevered through personal times of turmoil as well as the dangers that came with living through the horror that was World War II.
The way their children tell it, Gordon was the life of the party and Norma was his rock who was always by his side — supporting him in ways that only a devoted wife could. Norma rarely left Gordon’s side in all the 72 years that they have been together.
“They just loved being together,” their son Dennis Yeager told reporters.
“Everybody argues once in awhile, but [my dad still says] ‘I have to stick around. I can’t go until she does because I have to stay here for her and she would say the same thing.”
As with every other aspect of their lives, Norma and Gordon passed on together…while holding hands.
Two hearts beating as one
The car accident happened near the couple’s home in State Center, Iowa. Gordon, 94, had failed to yield to an oncoming car at a stop sign, and the two vehicles collided. The passengers of the other car were also taken to the hospital with injuries but the Yeagers were in worse shape.
“They brought them in the same room in intensive care and put them together — and they were holding hands in ICU. They were not really responsive” recalled Dennis.
The nurses who attended them know better than to separate the couple. Gordon died at 3:38PM holding hands with his wife while being surround by their family and loved ones.
“It was really strange, they were holding hands, and dad stopped breathing but I couldn’t figure out what was going on because the heart monitor was still going.”
“But we were like, he isn’t breathing. How does he still have a heart beat?”
“The nurse checked and said that’s because they were holding hands and it’s going through them. Her heart was beating through him and picking it up,” said Dennis.
Exactly one hour after Gordon died, Norma passed on too. She was 90-years-old at the time of her passing.
“Neither one of them would’ve wanted to be without each other,” their daughter Donna Sheets said.
“We were very blessed, honestly, that they went this way.”
At their funeral on Monday, Norma and Gordon were still holding hands. Their family plans to cremate them by mixing their ashes, to preserve their memory as a couple who never gave up on each other, a couple that was in it for the long-haul.
Now…where did we put that box of tissues again?
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