Isabell Whitney and Preble Staver fell in love on a blind date in Philadelphia. However, they put their relationship on hold when the United States entered the war. Isabell signed up as a nurse in the Navy and was stationed in Maryland, while Preble served his tenure as a Marine.
Just five months after the war ended, the couple tied the knot on Feb. 15, 1946. Preble supported his family working as a lobbyist and banker.
During the course of their marriage, the couple had five children. No parent should have to bury a child, but sadly, Preble and Isabell had to do so in 1975 when their son, Peter, died while playing the last football game of his senior year in high school.
One of their kids, Laurie Staver Clinton, told People: “At that point, we began to really see a softer side of my dad. Parents aren’t supposed to bury their kids, and that really took a toll on my folks, but it also brought them together.”
Speaking of her parents, Laurie said: “They were great people.” Her dad “was a bit of a prickly pear,” whilst her mom, a compassionate person, taught her that “you can’t change another person but you can change your attitude towards them.”
Preble and Isabell remained by each other’s side throughout the years.
“They really enjoyed each other’s company. It was just fun to see them, and they made a nice little life for themselves,” Laurie shared.
Then, in 2013, the couple moved into a long-term care facility in Norfolk after Isabell started showing signs of dementia. Though Preble became frustrated on seeing his wife’s dementia getting worse and the couple had to be placed in separate rooms, deep down, he still cared about his wife.
“They just found another way to express their love. Dad, even after he stopped walking and was in a wheelchair, he would wheel himself down to the Memory Care Unit and go visit mom,” Laurie recalled. “When I would reunite them, they always, the first thing they’d do was put their hands out and hold each other’s hand and tell each other they loved each other.”
Even though Isabell’s dementia was debilitating, sometimes, she still remembered her husband. “Sometimes we’d have to tell her to focus and look but when she looked and knew it was dad, she’d get that little smile,” Laurie said.
Jim Need, a friend from church, said, according to NRP: “Sometimes he was a little frustrated because she may not recognize him. But … when she did, you could always just see him—just smiling, like crazy.”
As Preble was nearing his 96th birthday, he told Laurie he wanted to share one more nap with Isabell. So, the staff made arrangements for the couple so that they could lie beside each other for nearly three hours.
“There was not a single word spoken between the two of them. They held hands and just fell asleep. I told dad, ‘This is mom’s birthday present for you.’ He was just so happy that he got to take his nap with her,” Laurie said.
Isabell even sang “Happy Birthday” for Preble when she was wheeled into his room.
On Oct. 25, 2017, a few days after the celebration, Laurie was told she should say her final goodbye to her mom. She also brought her dad in to bid farewell.
“He held her hand, and it was just so tender. I asked him if he wanted to stay after the prayers, and he shook his head. I said, ‘Okay, but you know that means you’re going to have to let go of her hand?’ I was crying, and he was crying,” Laurie recalled to People.
After Isabell was gone, Preble passed away just hours later.
Phenomenally, the couple born 14 days apart in October 1921 also died 14 hours apart. On Nov. 10, 2017, they were buried side by side at the cemetery in a Virginia Beach church.
Seeing how her parents stuck together through 70 years of marriage, Laurie came to the realization that “if you make a commitment, and even though life gets rough or life gets in the way, you work through life, and you live your life together.”
Watch the video:
WWII veteran couple married for seven decades dies on the same day: http://peoplem.ag/85x2aKl
تم النشر بواسطة People في الثلاثاء، ٢٨ نوفمبر ٢٠١٧