Couple Married For 67 Years Die On Same Day, Holding Hands
Floyd and Violet Hartwig, married for 67 years, died peacefully just hours apart earlier this month, holding hands in bed while surrounded by family in their Fresno, California, home.
The Hartwigs’ children noticed their breathing was synchronized in their final hours on February 11 and pushed their two hospice beds together. Floyd’s hand was placed in Violet’s, and they lay for a while, drawing their final breaths in sync. Floyd died first, with Violet passing away a few hours later.
“I think that’s what kept them going … that they each had the other one,” their daughter, Donna Scharton, told the Fresno Bee. “They didn’t want to go without each other.” Scharton told the Associated Press, “They were dedicated to each other. Even other people who met them said they had that connection.”
The couple knew each other as children in Central California, married in 1947, and lived long enough to have 10 great-grandchildren. Even when Violet was diagnosed with dementia in recent years, she remained active, until a downturn over the past holiday season. In January, Floyd had kidney failure and was given two weeks to live.
Floyd remained dedicated to caring for Violet, even as his own health deteriorated. Scharton said, “He would tell the doctor, ‘I’m OK, I want Vi fixed.’ He had a hard time getting up and down and was using his cane, and he was so short of breath he could just go about 10 feet, but his concern was helping her. He was not going to give up on that.”
In their last days, the Hartwigs were given hospice care in their home, surrounded by family. Their deaths just hours apart seemed destined. “They never, ever asked for anything,” their granddaughter Cynthia Letson told ABC News. “All they ever wanted was their family and it was amazing that they got that in the end.”