Days after their 71st wedding anniversary, couple die minutes apart

This is the story of a couple who stuck with each other until death.

Before the Second World War, Bob and Ruth Kretschmer met at a rolling skating rink and fell in love.

During the war, Bob was called up to serve in the forces, as reported by So Share This.

When he returned after the war, he married Ruth.

Bob, 92, and Ruth, 90, has been married now for 71 years. They settled in Medinah, Illinois in 1955.

They lived in a house Bob built for them. They raised a cow, a horse, a rooster, Irish setters, bunnies, and a goat named Billy.

The couple shared three children - daughters Bobbi and Ruthann, and son David.

Bob and Ruth now have 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

According to their children, Bob and Ruth's marriage is one filled with "devotion, love and courage."

But age later took a toll on their health. Ruth developed Alzheimer's while Bob was afflicted with cancer, which spread from his lung to his bones and liver.

It was a losing battle with cancer, but Bob hung on for dear life for Ruth's sake.

"I'm going downhill, but I have to hang on because I can't let Ruth go to a home," he told a friend.

In the same house where they had lived in for over 60 years, hospital beds were set up for them just feet apart.

With help from carers, Bob and Ruth's three children took turns taking care of them.

At 10 a.m. on December 29, 2017, Ruth finally stopped breathing. Relatives said Bob may have sensed it when Ruth died.

Holding Bob's hand, a carer could help but cry. He asked her why she was crying and she told him Ruth was gone.

As soon as she said that, Bob's hand went limp. A hospice nursed arrived 20 minutes and checked Ruth.

"[The nurse] said, 'She's gone,' and she stood up, turned around and said, 'Oh my God, he's gone,' Ruthann recalled.

"It was as if he was released from his duty. As soon as he heard mom declared at 10:25 a.m., dad was declared at 10:26 a.m. I believe to the bottom of my soul he hung on for her," Ruthann added.

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