A Georgia couple was married for 71 years before they died side by side Friday, exactly 12 hours apart.
Herbert DeLaigle, 94, died at 2:20 a.m. and his wife, Marilyn, 88, died at 2:20 p.m., according to DeLoach McKerley-Prescott Funeral Homes.
“It’s amazing how they were together for 71 years and now they are together in heaven,” the family said in a statement to WRDW. “What an amazing love story that is.”
Herbert was a retired master sergeant in the U.S. Army after serving in WWII and the Korean and Vietnam wars. He and Marilyn lived in several states during his service, including six years in Germany, and they worked alongside one another at Marilyn's Nursery near Waynesboro, Ga., which she run for a number of years. They were members of Botsford Baptist Church and the Senior Citizen Club at the church, according to their obituaries.
The couple's caretaker, Sharon Gibbons Brown, said it "was such a blessing" to care for the couple that lived out a love story like the kind you only see in movies.
“They lived together, loved together, laughed together and passed on the same day,” Brown wrote in a Facebook post honoring the couple.
“To God be the Glory for such an opportunity," Brown added. "It may not seem like much to some, but to me it’s priceless."
The DeLaigles leave behind six children, 16 grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren. They told the local news in a profile last year celebrating their 70th anniversary that they met at a cafe in their hometown when they were 22 and 16 years old.
“Frances worked at a little cafe we had in Waynesboro named White Way Cafe,” Herbert told WRDW. “I kept seeing her going in and out, in and out and I had my eyes set on her. And then I finally got up the nerve to ask her if she would go out with me sometime.”
Their first date was at the movies and a year later, he popped the question.
"I asked her will she have me as her husband and she said, of course," Herbert said.
Brown said she could see their love from the moment she met them.
“When I met them, I thought they were so cute, the way they had their recliners set right next to each other smiling and looking into each other’s eyes as they talked,” she wrote online, adding a precious memory of the first night she spent with them.
“They were awake holding hands like 4 a.m. in the morning telling each other how much they loved each other,” she said. “They smiled, giggled and played like teenagers falling in love for the first time.”