UNITED STATES - Relatives of a US couple who died at a nursing home 11 hours apart on the same day said their love story's ending ref lects their devotion over 65 years of marriage.
Mr Harold Knapke and Mrs Ruth Knapke died in their shared room on Aug 11, days before their 66th anniversary, The Dayton Daily News reported on Monday. He was 91, she was 89.
Their daughters said they believe their father willed himself to stay by his wife's side despite failing health until they could take the next step in their journey together.
He went first - his children saw it as his "final act of love" - and she followed. We believe he wanted to accompany her out of this life and into the next one, and he did," daughter Margaret Knapke said.
She added: "In recent years, we often speculated that dad was still here, in this life, because of mum.
"It seemed that, even though his health and strength were so very diminished, he couldn't stop being her protector; it seemed he didn't want to leave her behind."
The couple had known each other as children and began their courtship as pen pals, while Harold, known as "Doc", served in the US Army as a lieutenant during World War II.
Mrs Knapke would later joke: "I let him chase me until I caught him!"