A Couple Married for 67 Years Died in Bed, Holding Hands (Just Like 'The Notebook'!)
By John Boone
Photo: The Fresno Bee
Remember in The Notebook, how Noah went off to World War II and wrote a love letter to Allie for each day he was gone (even though she never wrote back because her mom hid them from her)? And they somehow managed to overcome all the obstacles and end up together, married, with kids? And then Allie got dementia and Noah had to read her their love story, so she’d come back to them? And then they both died, together, in bed?
Floyd and Violet Hartwig met when they were in elementary school in Fresno, but didn’t start going together until World War II, when Floyd enlisted in the Navy and the two reunited at the Rainbow Ballroom in Fresno. They exchanged more than 100 letters while Floyd was fighting overseas.
They married in 1947 while Floyd was on leave, and after he was honorably discharged the following year, Floyd and “Vi” started a farm back in Fresno. “They chopped cotton and fed turkeys side by side,” their obituary says. They also had three children -- Donna, Carol, and Kenneth -- four grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.
Violet was suffering from dementia, and in January, Floyd was diagnosed with kidney failure and given weeks to live. On Feb. 11, surrounded by family, 90-year-old Floyd and 89-year-old Violet laid in their hospice beds, their children pushing them together so their parents could hold hands.
After 67 years of marriage, Floyd passed first. Five hours later, Violet joined him.
“They had a connection, and I think that connection just came more and more, especially in the last months of their lives,” their daughter, Donna, told The Fresno Bee. “My dad could hardly walk and his main concern was my mom.”
We think their love could do anything they wanted it to.
Here are a few movies that made us cry just as much as The Notebook: