Couple married for 73 years die hours apart: 'God was up to something'

Wanda and Jim Wold passed away on July 20, 2021, at the Concord Care Center in Garner, Iowa

An Iowa couple who wed 73 years ago, took their final breaths just hours apart. 

Wanda Wold, 96 and James "Jim" Wold, 94, both died Tuesday, July 20, according to a Facebook tribute posted by their grandson, Dan Engstler.

"JamesWanda Wold: 94 & 96 years old. Married for 73 years. God was up to something today, calling them both to heaven 15 hours apart," Engstler wrote on the night of their passing. "Rest In Peace Grandma & Grandpa!"

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The post, which features a sweet black and white photo of Wanda and Jim sharing a kiss, has appeared to have touched the hearts of hundreds of locals who have left reactions and comments to voice their condolences. Engstler did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

Wanda died in the morning, prior to her husband, at the Concord Care Center in Garner, Iowa, where she and Jim shared a room, KCCI 8 News Des Moines reports. 

Later in the evening, Jim had died after he received a visit from his two daughters.

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"He folded his hands with both of us on either side and said, 'Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for taking her and would you please take me,'" his daughter, Candy Engstler recalled to KCCI about their final visit.

Much like her son Dan's Facebook post, Engstler said she believes her parents’ faith played a role in the timing of their deaths, and that belief brings her comfort.

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Wanda was born on March 24, 1925, in Merrill, Iowa, according to an obituary published on Tribute Archive. She attended the St. Luke’s School of Nursing in Sioux City and became a registered nurse. After moving to Garner in 1966, Wanda eventually began working for Hancock County Public Health and the Concord Care Center – the same place she and Jim died more than five decades later.

Jim was born on June 1, 1927, in St. Cloud, Minnesota, according to his obituary. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in World War II. When he returned home, he went on to work at his father’s hardware store until he switched to sales and then insurance.

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The Wolds were married May 30, 1948. They briefly lived in Minnesota and Illinois before they settling in Garner, Iowa. Wanda and Jim also liked to spend their winters in Arizona, Tribute Archive reports. 

As a couple, Wanda and Jim enjoyed similar hobbies, including golf and casino visits.

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The Wolds are survived by their three children, Candy, Juli and Kerry. They also had nine grandchildren.

Wanda and Jim’s funeral was held Monday morning at the St. Paul Lutheran Church. Military rites were conducted by the Garner Veterans Ceremonial Unit, according to their obituary. The longtime couple was laid to rest at the Concord Township Cemetery.