Friends remember Maurice and Elaine Deutsch - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Friends remember Maurice and Elaine Deutsch


Friends and fellow parishioners are remembering the lives of a husband and wife killed Wednesday night in a house fire.

Maurice and Elaine Deutsch died in their rural Chickasaw County home, just southeast of Ionia. The fire was reported to 911 just before 11:30 in the evening. By the time crews arrived, the home was engulfed in flames.

Friends said, Elaine and Maurice Deutsch loved their community -- almost as much as they loved their family. They had 10 children, and lots of grandchildren, many of whom were at the home last night before the fire. We're told it was an impromptu gathering before Christmas. Thursday night, they were together again under much more difficult circumstances. But the family is comforted knowing the pair is together..

"I think for a lot of people, the holidays are tinged with sorrow, they miss loved ones. The suddenness I think, in this family, will only draw them together more closely," said Good Shepherd Cluster Priest, Father Mark Osterhaus.

Family members and friends are trying to come to terms with the loss of Maurice and Elaine, and they were happy to share their good memories with us.

"Oh, his smile," is what Sister Jean Tranel said she recalled, "and she would always just look at him and go, that's who he is. And you could tell there was just so much love between them."

The couple would have celebrated their 65th anniversary together in 2012. Friends remember them as very much in love, and very devoted to the Catholic Church.

"You always saw them at church together, you always saw them at community events together. That's my feeling how they would have like to have gone -- together," Karen Bonfig said.

Maurice and Elaine were hand-in-hand for 65 years, and those who knew them best say neither would have left the other's side in those final moments.

"She was outside, from what we understand. And she went back in to be with her husband and help him. That's what a husband and wife would do for one another. There are some people in the world that are supposed to be together -- they were supposed to be together," Trane said.

As of Thursday night, family members were tentatively planning a funeral for Wednesday at Saint Boniface Center in Ionia.

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