In early August, Harold and Ruth Knapke died on the same day, just before what would have been their 66th anniversary. If a movie along those lines hadn't already been made starring some of the most aesthetically desirable humans on the planet, some scribe in Hollywood would be furiously writing it now.
Though slightly less romantic and peaceful than Noah and Allie's story from The Notebook because they didn't die in their sleep (just in the same room of their nursing home 11 hours apart), Harold and Ruth's life was still impressive. According to his six children, Harold tried to stay alive so that he and his wife could die at the same time:
Their daughters said they believe their father willed himself to stay by his wife's side despite failing health until they could take the next step in their journey together. He went first — his children saw it as his "final act of love" — and she followed.
"We believe he wanted to accompany her out of this life and into the next one, and he did," daughter Margaret Knapke said.
Like Noah and Allie, Harold (whose nickname was "Doc") and Ruth's love affair involved being young and writing letters during World War II. Unlike Noah and Allie, Ruth actually read those letters because her mother was not cruel and actually understood that it's important not to commit mail fraud and give your children their mail, especially when you could be inadvertently preventing one of the greatest love affairs of a century from developing. According to The Dayton Daily News, while Harold (can we call him Doc?) was persistent, it was Ruth that seemed to have the real chutzpah:
When the young Army lieutenant came home from the war, “I let him chase me until I caught him!” the ever-sassy Ruth would later quip.
You go, ever-sassy Ruth. Now seems like the right time to say "Rest In Peace" to Harold and Ruth but that's an overused phrase so basically, props and your story is lovely.
Screenshot via Broken Memories/Tumblr