A 100-year-old couple from Ohio passed away within 20 hours of each other last week after being married for 79 years.
Hubert and June Malicote of Butler County, Ohio got married in June of 1943. After Hubert passed away on November 30th, June followed shortly after on December 1st.
Following an early family Thanksgiving for the Malicotes and their children, June had fallen ill and immediate medical care was pursued. She was then placed into hospice care, which was like a gut punch for Hubert.
Their son Sam Malicote, 76, told The Dayton Daily News that after his mother was transferred to hospice care, his father "broke down" and could not cope with what was coming next. Almost immediately after visiting his wife, Hubert was admitted to hospice himself.
The two were unconscious for days in the same room, with Hubert dying of what they believed was a broken heart.
Can someone really die of a broken heart?
Broken heart syndrome is "a heart condition that's often brought on by stressful situations and extreme emotions," the Mayo Clinic says. Though it isn't often a death sentence, sometimes the situation can become more severe.
"People with broken heart syndrome may have sudden chest pain or think they're having a heart attack. Broken heart syndrome affects just part of the heart. It briefly interrupts the way the heart pumps blood," the medical resource says. "The rest of the heart continues to work as usual. Sometimes the heart contracts more forcefully."
"We've never had one quarrel!"Hubert Malicote to local news station WLWT
The couple's children were not entirely surprised to see their parents could not live without each other. Aside from spending two years apart after their wedding, while Hubert was stationed in Hawaii during World War II, they had always been together. He once recalled that when he returned, June was right there waiting for him at the station.
The two went on to welcome three children, seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren, their obituaries said.
While neither of them regained consciousness, the two reportedly died holding hands.
In the time preceding their deaths, the couple told their local station that they could not imagine life without the other. They also made sure to hold hands every day.
"We've never had one quarrel," Hubert told local station WLWT.
This only made their final days together more beautiful. "They went out together," their son told The Dayton Daily News.