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Helen Felumlee and Kenneth Felumlee, Ohio husband and wife married 70 years, die 15 hours apart



NASHPORT, Ohio (AP) -- A couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.

Helen Felumlee, of Nashport, died at 92 on April 12. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died the next morning.

The couple's eight children say the two had been inseparable since meeting as teenagers, once sharing the bottom of a bunk bed on a ferry rather than sleeping one night apart, the Zanesville Times Recorder reported.

They remained deeply in love until the very end, even eating breakfast together while holding hands, said their daughter, Linda Cody.

"We knew when one went, the other was going to go," she said.

According to Cody, about 12 hours after Helen died, Kenneth looked at his children and said, "Mom's dead." He quickly began to fade and was surrounded by 24 of his closest family members and friends when he died the next morning.

"He was ready," Cody said. "He just didn't want to leave her here by herself."

Son Dick Felumlee said his parents died of old age, surrounded by family.

"At Dad's bed we were singing his favorite hymns, reading scriptures and praying with him," he told The Associated Press in an email. "It was a going away party, and we know he loved it."

The pair had known each other for several years when they eloped in Newport, Ky., across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, on Feb. 20, 1944. At two days shy of his 21st birthday, Kenneth - who went by Kenny - was too young to marry in Ohio.

"He couldn't wait," son Jim Felumlee said.

Kenneth worked as a railroad car inspector and mechanic before becoming a mail carrier for the Nashport Post Office. He was active in his Nashport-Irville United Methodist Church as a Sunday school teacher.

Helen stayed at home, not only cooking and cleaning for her own family but also for other families in need in the area. She taught Sunday school, too, but was known more for her greeting card ministry, sending cards for birthdays, sympathy and the holidays to everyone in her community, each with a personal note inside.

"She kept Hallmark in business," daughter-in-law Debbie Felumlee joked.

When Kenneth retired in 1983 and the children began to leave the house, the Felumlees began to explore their love of travel, visiting almost all 50 states by bus.

"He didn't want to fly anywhere because you couldn't see anything as you were going," Jim Felumlee said.

Although both experienced declining health in recent years, Cody said, each tried to stay strong for the other.

"That's what kept them going," she said.

Join the discussion

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fabio2usa April 21 2014 at 3:35 PM

They really born for each other, that's what I call soul mate. God bless them!

Flag Reply +6 rate up
maddie1199 April 21 2014 at 3:59 PM

beautiful

Flag Reply +2 rate up
connimit April 21 2014 at 11:39 PM

God has blessed these two precious people.....

Flag Reply +1 rate up
ddherber April 21 2014 at 3:59 PM

What an inspiration to love. You think you know love? This was the most true love. God bless them both and their family.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
amylovesrob April 21 2014 at 11:27 PM

This is a beautiful ending......

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Villi April 21 2014 at 4:01 PM

wow, you don't hear stories like these as much......I hope my hubby and I go together as well....I love him so much!!!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
dagostep2 April 21 2014 at 10:35 PM

they should make a double wide coffin for couples like this .....they could be buried holding hands....

Flag Reply +4 rate up
2 replies
rjackson2a dagostep2 April 21 2014 at 10:54 PM

If the family can afford it, it can be done.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
simsweldingco dagostep2 April 21 2014 at 11:15 PM

I like that!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
Charlotte's PC April 21 2014 at 4:05 PM

this is the most wonderful story that i have heard in a long long time. may god bless this family that they may walk in thier parents foot step. how wonderful a life like this would be.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
jayjaycoop April 21 2014 at 4:07 PM

A real nice story, worth printing in every paper in the country. It is a real good chance they were always devoted to each other, and the children, and their community. This should take frone page of every newspaper. God Bless them..
John from Eastwood 13206

Flag Reply +4 rate up
mlabargeward6 April 21 2014 at 3:56 PM

What a beautiful story. I feel a book should be written about these two people and their lives together where never apart. True love.
There commitment to there family and friends and community. There church was a priority in there lives.
Getting older and ailing together and one passess away and the other heart is lonesome and decides it is time for him to be with her again forever.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
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