A day before Gene Warrington, 88, passed away in her hospice room she was paid one final visit by her equally ill husband.
The pair, inseparable since high school and who wed in secret as love-struck teens, held hands for 45 minutes before parting.
Pat Warrington could see his wife’s death was imminent so returned to his own room and pulled out all his intravenous tubes. He died exactly eight hours after his wife of 69 years.
Phil Warrington said his father recognized that Pat was in critical condition and made the decision to pull out his tubes.
‘We were able to get them together for about 45 minutes and he held her hand,’ son Phil Warrington said.
‘He said it wouldn’t be fun without her,’ the son added.
The pair, from Ohio, met in junior high school and wed secretly as teenagers while he was home from boot camp before leaving for World War II. Pat was 16 and Gene was 18.
The wedding was kept a secret so that Pat could graduate high school. After Gene returned from war, he graduated from high school in 1947, a year after Pat’s graduation.
‘He told me that when he came back from war, he knew he never wanted to be away from her again,’ Phil Warrington said.
Their family grew with three children, seven grandchildren and a dozen great-grandchildren. Throughout it, the Warringtons were nearly inseparable, even in failing health at the end of their love story, their son said.
‘You could have almost predicted it,’ he said.
‘They did everything in their life together. They were never apart.’
‘They had been feeding on each other all along,’ he concluded.