This couple was together for 70 years. They died on the same day

On Sunday, David, who served as an aircraft mechanic in the Air Force, and Hana, a nurse, were laid to rest in a joint funeral at Yarkon Cemetery.

Elderly couple strolling (illustrative) 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)
Elderly couple strolling (illustrative) 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)

Two weeks ago, David and Hana Regev celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

"I don't remember them one without the other. It was a symbiotic relationship," said their son Dori.

"I don't remember them one without the other. It was a symbiotic relationship."

The couples' son Dori

On Friday, the couple passed away at the same time. "With all the pain of parting, we, the family, have comfort that it happened at an advanced age and that they knew how to leave together, without one of them being left alone," Dori said.

David's story 

David was born in Tel Aviv in 1929 to parents who emigrated from Belarus four years earlier and settled in the city. Before he finished his studies at a boys' school in the Neve Tzedek neighborhood, he decided to join the Palmach.

Self-taught and thirsty for knowledge, he studied on his own over the years, sitting for long hours in public libraries and delving into a variety of fields, mainly music and history.

David belonged to the Naan training; he was in the 1st, 4th and 6th companies, and the 1st battalion. He was involved in the security of immigration to Kibbutz Yachiam in the Western Galilee and in getting applicants off the ships to the shore.

He was then attached to the enlisted unit in Tel Aviv, and was involved in the defense of the city when the fighting broke out at the end of November 1947. David was wounded by a bullet in one of the battles in the Kfar Shalem area. After recovering, he served in the IDF in the 7th Brigade and then as an aircraft mechanic in the Air Force.

After he was released from service in the IDF, David worked over the years for an electrical company. "The work was a source of income for him, but what really interested him were classical music and studies," Dori said.

Hana's story 

Hana emigrated with her family from Poland in 1935, when she was three and a half years old. Her father sensed the evil spirits that were coming and feared for the Jews' expected future in Poland. He came to Maccabiah in 1932 to check the possibility of immigrating to Israel and two years later he came with his family.

Two years after that, he sent a letter to the high commissioner requesting that his brother and his family also be approved for immigration. The approval was necessary because it was not acceptable to give approval to two family members. Indeed, the brother's family also came. Except for four cousins ​​who came to Israel, all other family members perished in the Holocaust.

Hana studied at the Herzliya Hebrew High School in Tel Aviv. Then the family moved to Ra'anana, where her father worked in orchards and then opened a shop in the settlement. After she finished her studies, she went to study nursing at Haifa's Rambam Hospital and then served in the army and became an officer.

During most of her working years, she was a nurse at a school in Givatayim.

Come together

David and Hana met shortly after the War of Independence and married in 1952. After a short period in Ra'anana, they moved to Tel Aviv and had a daughter and a son – Orna and Dori. In 1967 they moved from Tel Aviv to Givatayim.

The couple, their two children and five grandchildren lived as a close-knit and supportive family. A few years ago, Hana became ill and demented, but she still recognized her family members, spoke and responded. A few months ago, her condition deteriorated, and she said that she did not want to be a burden on her family. She announced that she would stop taking medication and asked not to be taken to a hospital.

David was fresh, clear and vital, kept his special sense of humor and continued to tell about past events in the Palmach and the Air Force, such as the emergency landing of a Dakota plane he was in that was piloted by Ivy Nathan.

Final days 

The decision of the couple and their family was that they would stay together in their apartment, as part of a home hospice. Hana stopped eating and stopped drinking two weeks ago. David was by her side the whole time. Every now and then, a young man named Nathaniel would come to take him out in a wheelchair for a walk around the neighborhood. It was the same on Friday.

While they were in the nearby mall and talking to each other, Hana took her last breaths. In those moments David felt strong pain and returned to his home and was given the hard news. He was taken to hospital and died a short time later.

On Sunday, David and Hana were laid to rest in a joint funeral at Yarkon Cemetery.