Even death could not separate an American couple married for over six decades. They breathed their last in the same room just minutes apart.
Married in 1953, Henry De Lange, a Korean War veteran, and Jeanette, a musician, shifted to Platte, where they lived with their five children.
Jeanette, 87, an Alzheimer’s patient, had been in nursing home care in South Dakota since 2011. Her husband visited her “once a day, twice, or maybe three times a day” but as his fight against prostate cancer worsened, he was also admitted to the same nursing home and shared a room with his wife, said Lee De Lange, one of their sons.
On the day when Jeanette died at 5.10pm in the nursing home, just 20 minutes later, her 86-year-old husband breathed his last in the same room.
Lee said there was a divine quality to having both parents die at nearly the same time.
“We’re calling it a beautiful act of God’s providential love and mercy,” said Lee. “You don’t pray for it because it seems mean but you couldn’t ask for anything more beautiful.”
Family gathered with Jeanette was reading the Bible at the time she passed away.
“We read Psalm 103. We didn’t quite get done,” said Lee De Lange, one of their sons. “She passed away very, very peacefully. Incredibly peacefully.”
Lee said his brother told his father “mom’s gone to heaven” and that he did not have to fight anymore. He could let go and join her if he wished, the son told CNN affiliate KSFY.
Twenty minutes later, at 5.30 pm, Henry De Lange did just that. His children remember him briefly opening his eyes and looking at his wife before he died.
In another strange coincidence, Lee said when he looked at the clock in the room it had stopped at the exact time Henry passed away.
No one could explain why the battery-operated clock stopped just then. “Amazing. A sign from God that was the right time.”