It's pretty rare today to see a married couple that takes their vows seriously "for better or worse, till death do us part." But for Ed and Floreen Hale, those were words that they meant... and lived.
It was "love at first sight" when Ed and Floreen first met at a county dance in 1952. But when Ed asked Floreen's father for permission to marry his daughter, the answer was a definite no. Floreen was just recovering from a major car accident, and her father told her young suitor that she would need someone that would "care for her for the rest of her life." But Ed was not deterred. "If I have to carry her for the rest of her life, I will," he said. "I need to be with her." The young couple were married the following spring.
The marriage was a happy one. Ed constantly doted on his wife, and the two were inseparable.
In May 2013, the couple celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. But both were now suffering from poor health. On January 31st, Ed was hospitalized in grave condition, then moved to a hospital in Rochester, NY to live out his last few days. His final request? "I need to see Floreen," he insisted. Unknown to Ed, his wife had just been hospitalized in Batavia, NY. She too was dying.
Amazingly, with some string-pulling, Ed got his wish. As the couple held hands, Ed continued to fight for breath, unwilling to go first and leave his wife alone. The morning after Ed's arrival, Floreen passed away. 36 hours later, Ed followed her. In a service held the day before Valentine's Day, the two were buried together - inseparable to the end.