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Illinois Couple Pass Away Hours Apart After 71 Years Of Marriage

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(CBS) Married in 1942, Robert and Nora Viands spent little time apart over the last seven decades.

After Robert, 92, passed away at 12:45 am Wednesday morning in Rockford, his loving wife wasted little time in following her husband. Nora then died at 4:45 pm – exactly 16 hours after her husband.

“We were blessed to have them pass at the same time,” son Bob Viands Jr. told the Rockford Register Star on Thursday. “She would’ve been heartbroken to be without her lover.”

The inseparable duo eloped in Missouri in 1942, as Nora was 17 and too young to be legally married in Illinois, but their relationship was hardly love at first sight.

After a blind date brought them together, Nora vowed that “she was never going to go out with him again,” Bob said.

Robert, however, wouldn’t give up on his future bride that easily, persisting until Nora agreed to a second date.

And the rest? Well, as they they, it’s history.

Over the last year, the couple’s health began to deteriorate. Pneumonia hospitalized Nora in December, and Robert was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease shortly after, forcing the couple into Fairhaven, a retirement center in Rockford.

Both Robert and Nora began receiving Hospice care within the past week, setting the stage for the couple to pass away just as they lived – together.

“They were connected in ways we can’t understand,” Bob said.

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