South Dakota Couple Dies 20 Minutes Apart After Nearly 63 Years of Marriage Together

henry-jeannette-de-lange-die-20min-apart

An elderly couple died just 20 minutes apart at a nursing home in Platte, South Dakota, after nearly 63 years of marriage together.

Henry De Lange, a Korean war veteran, and Jeannette De Lange, an organist and cook, first met as teenagers in ’40s at a skating rink in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The two got married a few years later in October of 1953.

“As a couple, they loved each other a lot and they were both devoted to Christ,” said Lee De Lange, one of their five children. “They both served the church in whatever way they could, they went to their children’s and grandchildren’s activities as much as they could and traveled some. They had a full and blessed life.”

Eight years ago, Jeanette was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. A few years after the diagnosis, she entered nursing home since she couldn’t care for herself due to her rapidly deteriorating memory, Lee told ABC News today.

Meanwhile, Henry was in assisted living at a local Veteran Affairs hospital where he was battling prostate cancer.

Since Henry couldn’t bear to be apart from his wife, he would visit Jeanette at the nursing home every day — even up to three times a day, Lee said. Together, the couple would have coffee lunches, play bingo and read devotions.

Henry finally joined Jeanette at the nursing home on July 27 after staff at the VA hospital said he didn’t have much time left.

“They put mom and dad in the same room, which was very sweet,” Lee said.

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SOURCE: ABC News, Avianne Tan