A Missouri husband and wife who had been married for 65 years died just hours apart from each other Saturday, holding hands in adjacent beds at a nursing home in St. Louis.
Jack Morisson met his future wife, Harriet, when he was a bus driver chauffeuring her father on a trip with a drum and bugle corps.
Harriet was accompanying her dad on that trip and went on her first date with Jack on Halloween 1955.
Six months later, the couple was married and went on to run V-K Bus Lines together while raising their two sons and their niece.
Family and friends recalled the romance between Jack and Harriet. Sue Wagener, their niece who grew up with the couple, said Jack would make coffee for Harriet daily, wait for her at the salon for hours when she'd get her hair permed and run errands with her all the time, according to reports by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The couple also traveled the world together, going to Europe and Australia, through their work with the Moolah Shriners, a fraternal order devoted to philanthropy.
About a year ago, Harriet tripped while walking their dog, breaking her pelvis and hip, Wagener said. She had dementia and moved into The Woodlands of Arnold nursing home and rehabilitation center.
Jack was having trouble living at home and eventually moved into a villa at the Woodlands in May. In September, he also fell, breaking his neck. He then moved into the nursing home, four doors down the hall from his wife.
"Some days she knew him; other days she didn’t," Wagener said.
On Christmas Eve, Wagener told Jack that Harriet had stopped eating and drinking. He barely ate or drank after that.
About 11 p.m. on Jan. 10, she got a call from a nurse saying Harriet appeared close to death. The nurse asked if staff could move furniture out of Jack’s room so the couple could be together. Wagener said there was nothing she’d love more.
Jack, 86, died first.
Harriet, 83, later the same day.