Couple Married 69 Years Die 40 Minutes Apart, Hand in Hand: Repo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Couple Married 69 Years Die 40 Minutes Apart, Hand in Hand: Report

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Chicago (NBC) -

An Illinois husband and wife, married for 69 years, had a bond so strong they died minutes apart Saturday, hand in hand, at a Skokie hospital, according to their obit.

As both Teresa and Isaac Vatkin, 89 and 91 respectively, lay unresponsive with shallow breath in the hospital Saturday, their family members placed them side by side and hand in hand, the Daily Herald reports. The couple died "peacefully," 40 minutes apart.

"I didn't want them to be scared," their granddaughter Debbie Handler told the newspaper. "I thought maybe if they knew the other was there, it would help."

According to the Herald, the couple met in Argentina, where they were both originally from, and settled in Skokie. They raise three kids in the US — Isaac starting his own kosher meat distribution business and Teresa a homemaker and manicurist.

Isaac learned to use a computer in his 80s and researched Alzheimer’s disease for possible cures when Teresa began to develop the ailment, according to the Herald.

"You didn't want to see them go," their grandson William Vatkin told the newspaper, "but you couldn't ask for anything more."

A joint funeral service was held for the couple Monday in Arlington Heights.

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