Real-life 'Notebook' couple die together, hand-in-hand

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Floyd and Violet Hartwig died hand-in-hand after 67 years of marriage.
creativeContent-Cynthia Letson/ABC News

In a heartbreaking story reminiscent of The Notebook, a married couple of 67 years passed away together holding each other's hands.

ABC News reports that Floyd and Violet Hartwig died on Feb. 11, surrounded by immediate family. As they saw that the end was near for the couple, the family pushed their hospice beds together, their daughter Donna Scharton told ABC News.

"My mom had dementia for the last several years and around the holidays we noticed she was going down," said Scharton. "Then, I got a call from the doctor saying 'your dad has kidney failure and he has two weeks to live.' So, we decided to put them in hospice together."

The Hartwigs first met in grammar school, and developed a relationship after Floyd returned home from the Navy. They married in 1947, and had three children including Scharton. While Floyd worked delivering eggs, Violet took care of their ranch and cooked every meal.

"I remember them kissing each other goodbye every morning," Scharton recalled. "I remember mom called him Blondie because he had such pretty blonde hair and blue eyes."

Although his health was deteriorating, her father's main priority was the love of his life.

"He would tell the doctor, 'I'm okay I just want her fixed'," she told ABC News. "That was his concern; not how bad his pain was, but that he wanted my mom fixed."

"We could tell my dad was in a lot more pain," Scharton cried. "We said 'it's getting close,' so we pushed the hospital beds together as far as we could. We put their hands together, and my dad died holding my mom's hand. Mom was not coherent, but we told her that dad had passed away and that he was waiting for her. She died five hours later."

"What we felt was keeping them alive was the will to live, and that they didn't want to let go of each other," said Scharton.

Both Scharton and her daughter, Cynthia Letson, remember the Hartwigs as simple people who just loved having their family beside them, and completely devoted to one another.

"They never, ever asked for anything," said Letson. "All they ever wanted was their family and it was amazing that they got that in the end."