MONROE, N.C. — A Union County couple married for nearly 65 years died only hours apart, according to an article in Sunday’s edition of the Charlotte Observer.
Eleanor and Frank Turner were born within 26 days of each other in July 1926. They wed 22 years later and started a marriage that lasted nearly 65 years.
Family members told the paper it was only fitting they died only hours apart from each other on Friday, without even knowing the other’s fate.
“We’re still in shock. It doesn’t seem real to us,” niece Carolyn Warren told the paper. “But isn’t it ironic that they both passed, one and then the other?”
Eleanor Witt Turner, 87, died first on Friday at Hospice House in Monroe.
Then nine hours later, her husband, Frank Eugene Turner, 87, died at Autumn Care of Marshville, according to the paper.
The two would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on Dec. 24.
Purser told the paper her parents’ love story began at a Charlotte car dealership that sold Kaiser-Frazer automobiles.
Eleanor, who had recently moved to the area from Asheboro, was working as a secretary at the car dealership when Frank stopped in. Frank, who lived in Illinois, had just got out of the Navy and was planning to return to his work at The Associated Press, according to the paper.
A car salesman asked Frank if he would like to take a car for a test drive. He replied, “Yes, but only if I can take your secretary with me.”
Several months later, the couple married.
The family moved a lot, living in several states before they ultimately settled near Charlotte.When Eleanor got dementia later in life, the family opted to put her in a nursing home.
“Dad couldn’t stand to be without her. He didn’t want to be apart from her,” Purser told the paper. “So he would try to drive over to see her, but the dementia started getting to him, too, and he would get lost.”
A few months later, the couple moved into Monroe Square senior living facility in Union County.
A few weeks ago, Frank suffered a stroke. On the day he was scheduled to be released from the hospital, Eleanor was checked in after she also suffered a stroke.
The couple met briefly as she entered the hospital for what would turn out to be the last time.
On Friday, Eleanor passed away at 4:40 a.m. Frank died later that day, around 1:30 p.m.
The couple was buried together on Monday at a cemetery in Monroe.
“They thought alike; they both wanted the same things out of life,” she said. “They were the same. And they were lost without each other,” Purser told the paper.
Read more: Charlotte Observer