Chicago-Area Couple Married 69 Years Die 40 Minutes Apart

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) — The children of a suburban Chicago couple married 69 years say the husband and wife died 40 minutes apart at a hospital while holding hands.

Teresa Vatkin of Skokie, Illinois, died Saturday at 12:10 a.m. at Highland Park Hospital at age 89. Her husband, 91-year-old Isaac Vatkin, died around 12:50 a.m. Saturday. The couple’s son Leo Vatkin says his father “never wanted to do anything apart” from Teresa.

At the couple’s joint funeral Monday at Shalom Memorial Funeral Home in Arlington Heights their daughter Clara Gesklin said her parents’ “love for each other was so strong they simply could not live without each other.”

Relatives say the Vatkins were holding hands when Teresa Vatkin died. Gesklin says her father stopped breathing when family members separated the couple’s fingers.

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