For the past seven years, Warren Chapple made sure he visited his wife Joan at the nursing home twice a day. The couple has been married for 70 years and nothing seemed to be able to separate them—not even death.
Joan Chapple, who suffered from Alzheimer, passed away on Feb. 17, at the Van Rensselaer Manor nursing home in New York at age 87. Warren then followed his wife, passing away the next day at age 92.
In an interview with Times Union, the couple’s son Marc said his father Warren made a 10-mile trip to feed Joan breakfast every morning. He would then keep her company for two hours before returning home to rest. At around 5 p.m., he would make another trip to the nursing home so that he could feed his wife dinner. He would accompany her until the nurses put her to bed.
Marc said only illness and bad weather would keep Warren, who was living at his son’s home at the time, from his routine.
“He lived for my mother,” Marc said.
“He kept her alive with that love,” Marc’s wife, Pattie, added.
When they were younger, Warren worked as a service technician for Hart’s Fuel Service. Joan was a seamstress for Standard Manufacturing in Lansingburgh.
But at 92 years of age, Warren’s health was also deteriorating. He suffered from esophageal cancer, which recently had made him too weak to continue his journeys to the nursing home. The final time he visited his wife was on Jan. 28.
One day, Warren asked about his wife out of the blue, as if he knew something was happening.
“How’s mom?” Warren asked, reported Times-Union. “Is she like me?”
Hours later, Joan passed away.
“She’s gone,” Marc told his father. “You can go now.”
It was not clear whether Warren understood his son’s message but he did follow his wife the next day.
The couple shared a funeral together on Feb. 23 and will be buried at Elmwood Hill Cemetery side by side, according to the news website. They are survived by two sons; Bruce Chapple and Marc, three grandchildren; Kari (Keith) Hankle, Brian (Lea Peplowski), and Brittany Chapple, as well as 3 great-grandchildren, according to a joint obituary.
Couple Dies Within Hours of Each Other
In a similar story, a couple in Massachusetts died within hours of each other after 63 years of marriage.
Richard “Chick” Nylen told his daughter before his death that her mother, Blanche Nylen, who had been battling cancer, wasn’t doing well.
“My dad said, ‘Mom said she’s ready, but she’s not going to go before the holidays. She doesn’t want to ruin the holidays,’” Christina Queeney, the couple’s daughter, told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette of a conversation they had just before Christmas. “And he said, ‘She wants me to go with her.’”
— Telegram & Gazette (@telegramdotcom) February 20, 2019
Queeney told her dad that things don’t work like that.
“I said, ‘Dad, this is not The Notebook, this is not TV,’” she recalled. “He winked at me and he said, ‘We’re going to go together.’”
Richard Nylen died on Feb. 2. Blanche Nylen died just hours later.
A few days later, the Nylens were cremated and entombed in the same vault at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
According to the couple’s joint obituary, they were both 85 when they died.
Reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report
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