Marjorie and James Landis from Pennsylvania, who were married for 65 years, were so inseparable in life that not even death could keep them apart, as they died within 88 minutes of each other on Monday.
Marjorie Landis, 87, died at the Laurelwood Care Center near Johnstown, Pennsylvania, following a long illness. James Landis, 89, died of a heart attack just 88 minutes later.
The couple’s granddaughter, Erin Miller, told the Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown that the last thing her grandfather said to her grandmother was: “It’s OK. I love you. We had many good years together. I will see you real soon.”
Marjorie and James Landis met at a dance in Johnstown when they were both with other people.
But they eventually paired off and got married in 1946 becoming almost instantly inseparable.
Marjorie and James Landis celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in September 2011.
Erin Miller said of her grandfather, a former Air Force pilot: “I just think he died of a broken heart. I don’t think they could have lived apart from each other.”
When Erin Miller was looking for photographs of the pair for their funeral, she said it was hard to find any of them apart as they were always together.
According to the Tribune Democrat, the couple started their married life in Pittsburgh, where James Landis attended Pitt following his military service.
James Landis earned a degree in engineering and eventually went to work for Bethlehem Steel while she stayed at home and looked after their two children Gary and Gail.
The couple’s case is not uncommon.
In January, Richard and Nancy Trimmer, also from Pennsylvania, died within 12 hours of each other.
Both are reminiscent of the 2004 film, The Notebook, which tells the story of an epic romance which ends when the couple dies at the same time after decades of a happy marriage.
A study published in 2007 by researchers at the University of Glasgow found that bereaved widows or widowers were at least 30% more likely to die within the first six months of their partner’s death than those of the same age who hadn’t lost a spouse.
Some experts say that after being with someone for such a long period of time, especially after sleeping next to each other, one person’s heartbeat can affect and regulate another person’s heartbeat.
This is usually why the number one cause of death for bereaved spouses is heart disease and sudden death.