Husband dies soon after wife of 65 years

Feb. 10, 2012 at 1:17 PM
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WESTMONT, Pa., Feb. 10 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania husband and wife married more than 65 years died just 88 minutes apart -- their granddaughter said they couldn't live apart from each other.

Marjorie Landis, 87, died at Laurelwood Care Center in Johnstown after a long illness Monday, and her husband, James Landis, 89, suffered a fatal heart attack 88 minutes later, The (Johnstown) Tribune Democrat reported.

When his wife died, James Landis was at her side, the newspaper quotes granddaughter Erin Miller as saying.

"The last thing he said to her was, 'It's OK. I love you. We had many good years together. I will see you real soon,'" Miller said.

"I just think he died of a broken heart. I don't think they could have lived apart from each other."

James Landis, who had been an Air Force pilot, met the former Marjorie Engelbach at a Johnstown dance in 1946. He earned an engineering degree and went to work for Bethlehem Steel. She raised the Westmont couple's children, Gary and Gail.

People who knew the couple said they were almost always together, whether bird-watching, playing board games, making Christmas cookies together or taking cruises to Alaska, Hawaii and elsewhere. At church, he was a deacon, and she was a Sunday school teacher.

The Rev. Douglas Stevens, pastor of Westmont Presbyterian Church, said he had no trouble coming up with a theme for the homily at the couple's funeral.

"I'm going to talk about the bonds of love because that really is what held them together and it was so obvious for all to see," Stevens said.

He said they were "inseparable" and one was always talking about the other.

"That's the kind of marriage all of us would want to have," Stevens said.

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