Utah couple married 74 years dies within hours of each other

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A funeral service has been set for a Salt Lake City couple who died within a few hours of each other after being married for 74 years.

Madelyn Yensen died April 7 after suffering a seizure, while her husband, Marcus, died of heart failure about five hours later the same day. She was 94, and he was 95.

The two married on Oct. 17, 1940, only a month after they met when he took a dance lesson from her at a studio. They had lived since 1949 in a quaint, brick home where they raised their three children.

Daughter Carol Bradford said her father always insisted her mother should die at home with proper care. Bradford went to see him just after her mother's death.

"I leaned over and whispered in his ear, 'Mom has passed, and she's waiting for you in heaven.' I think after that, he knew he had accomplished what he needed, and he felt that he could let go," she told the Deseret News newspaper of Salt Lake City.

"They were always together, and they were always very happy with each other," she added.

The couple's son, Byron Yensen, said that while it was painful to lose both parents in a single day, it was comforting to know they weren't apart from each other long.

"It would have been very difficult for Mom or Dad to live without the other," he told the Deseret News. "They really loved each other."

"He didn't want to die and leave her here. He wanted to take care of her," he added.

Marcus Yensen was a World War II veteran and Union Pacific Railroad engineer, while his wife was a homemaker.

A funeral service will be held May 9 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City.

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