Iowa couple married 72 years died one hour apart in the hospital while holding hands

DES MOINES, Iowa - An Iowa couple married 72 years died one hour apart in the hospital while holding hands.

Norma Stock said "Yes" to Gordon Yeager on May 26, 1939 on the day she graduated from high school.

The way the kids tell it, dad was the life of the party while mom kept everything together.

Last Wednesday, they left their Iowa home to go into town. State troopers said Gordon pulled in front of an oncoming car at in intersection.

In the intensive care unit of Marshalltown's hospital, nurses knew not to separate Gordon and Norma.

"They brought them in the same room in intensive care and put them together," the couple's son, Dennis Yeager said. "And they were holding hands in intensive care and then, with the morphine and everything they were not really responsive."

Gordon died at 3:38 holding hands with his wife the family they built surrounded them.

"It was really strange, they were holding hands, and dad stopped breathing but I couldn't figure out what was going," Dennis Yeager said.

The family couldn't figure out why Gordon still showed to have a heartbeat.

"We were like, ‘he isn't breathing, how does he still have a heart beat?' and (the nurse) checked and everything and said that's because they were holding hands and it's going through them. Her heart was beating through him and picking it up."

At 4:38 p.m., exactly one hour after Gordon, Norma passed too.

"Neither one of them would've wanted to be without each other. I couldn't figure out how it was going to work," Donna Sheets, the couple's daughter said. "We were very blessed, honestly, that they went this way."

At their funeral, Norma and Gordon held hands in their casket.

Norma was 90, and Gordon was 94.


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