A Michigan couple whose family described as inseparable in life died hours apart while holding hands earlier this month.
"At 14 they met and were friends, they dated other people, they were engaged to other people," Marybeth Webb, one of the late couple’s daughters explained. "And then they were both single when he went to [the] Army. So she was like, ‘I didn't have anyone to write, so I started writing your dad.'"
The couple forged a friendship through letters. Judy wrote Will when he served in Korea and they soon fell in love. On Feb. 16, 1963, they eventually got married and moved to Melvindale where they raised their children.
And their daughters grew up understanding the strong bond between their parents.
"They always had their arms on each other. If she was away five minutes, he would say, 'Where's mama, have you seen mama?'" another daughter, Lori Thomas, said.
It wasn’t until several months ago the daughters, who are all nurses, said that the bond between their parents was first threatened by sickness. Judy suffered complications from what was supposed to be a routine surgery and things started going downhill from there and they watched their father go down with her.
"It went bad," Lori explained. "She ended up coding from it. My father watched it and broke."
Will, who was 77, collapsed the morning after his wife coded. Even though he and his wife were being treated in separate hospitals, the couple still maintained a physical and emotional bond that medical experts couldn’t explain.
"She would get a fever from her infection; he would get a fever. Couldn't figure out where his was coming from because there was no source," Marybeth said. "She ended up with encephalopathy as a complication from the antibiotic she was on; he ended up with encephalopathy. Both ended up unresponsive at the same time, ended up back in the ICU."
It was soon clear that Will was dying.
"I put him in hospice and let God take it from there, and my mom just started declining so bad we said we have to get them back together, we can't do this, they can't die without one another," Ann Warren, another daughter, told Fox 2.
"We said 'Mom, you want to see dad?' She said 'Yes.' (She was) all excited and they brought mom through the door in dad's room and he looked over and saw her and said 'Mama!' And that was like the last thing he said," Warren added.
About four days before the couple died they were brought together in the same hospice where their daughters put their beds together so they could hold hands.
"They were holding hands and when my dad took his last breath, my mom went like this rubbing his hand," Lori said. "She wasn't responding but she knew he died, so she rubbed his hand, like I'll be there soon — and she was."
Even though their parents are gone, the sisters described the gift of love their parents left them as a “treasure.”
"We all have this long line of love we just treasure," Warren said. "That's why no one should ever settle. If you have someone you truly love you should fight for it. They fought for their love every day."