The couple Leonard and Hazel Cherry who had spent 74 years of marriage together amazingly passed away on the same day, within just hours of one another.
“They never really spent a day apart unless it was for a family emergency or something,” David Cherry, told PEOPLE. “And I never heard a cross word between them. I never heard them raise their voices to each other unless they were calling across the yard. They didn’t fight!”
Leonard and Hazel met in high school, and were married in 1942.
The Texas couple Leonard and Hazel, who met and started dating in high school in the small town of Flatonia, were married in 1942. They had grown up in two very small sister towns, but hadn’t met prior to high school.
Leonard was a bomber pilot and trainer during World War II.
Hazel gave birth to their son David in 1944.
Leonard joined the Army Air Corp not long after their union, where he spent years learning to fly bomber planes, and then training other bomber pilots to fly. He was never deployed into battle however, and worked out of numerous military bases during the second World War. Leonard and Hazel’s son, David, was born in 1944, and the couple soon moved to Fort Worth Texas in order to raise their son, where they started up an auto shop business called Cherry Hill.
Years later, after David had grown up and moved away, and after the Cherry’s had sold their business, they decided to move to Waco in 1980 in order to be closer to their son. David who now has his own 2 children as well as 4 grandchildren said, “[t]he kids just adored my parents!
“They had such a special relationship, they were so close and came to all of their school events. When my son was growing up, dad came to all of his basketball games,” David recalled.
“I didn’t find out until after he died, but apparently he showed up to almost all of his practices too.”
Leonard attended almost all of his grandson’s practices.
Leonard and Hazel eventually moved into an assisted living seniors’ home after Leonard developed symptoms of dementia. While he was taken into the nursing care section, Hazel stayed in the independent living part of the facility. She nevertheless stayed by his side every day, and they ate lunch together in his quarters.
Up until one week prior to her passing, Hazel was regarded to be in excellent shape. Then at the age of 93, “[s]he started getting tired and weaker,” according to her son. And one day, unable to get out of bed, Hazel was taken to the emergency room, where she passed away. “My daughter was talking to her when she blinked, smiled and let go,” recounted David.
Although Leonard was not informed of his wife’s death, there were some signs showing that he had a feeling about what had happened. His caregiver had described the elderly man as being fidgety and restless all morning, and then at around 1pm—just 10 minutes after she had passed away—Leonard breathed a deep exhale, and then settled down. David said, “I’m not sure how it worked, but he knew what happened. He had a connection… He could feel it.”
Later that evening, around 10:50 p.m., Leonard passed away as well. He was 95 years old.
“It’s what God wanted”, said David. “And I think it’s what they wanted too.”
“They had so much love for each other… No question, they are both up above, smiling… They’ll always be together,” said their son.
“They never really spent a day apart… And I never heard a cross word between them”, said David.
There are many recorded instances of partners who held onto life in order to remain here with their loved ones; and many cases are of those who left soon after their soulmates had passed away. What it means is that the will to live—that which is inside our hearts, our character—decides where we will go in life and beyond, and that what we desire most is that which is closest to our hearts.