Don and Maxine Simpson were married for 62 years, and not even death could keep them apart for long.
According to the couple’s granddaughter, Melissa Sloan, the Simpsons, of Bakersfield, Calif., passed away approximately four hours apart on the morning of July 21. Maxine, 87, had suffered from bladder cancer, while 90-year-old Don had struggled with Alzheimer’s disease and suffered a broken hip and pneumonia in the week before his death.
The couple had lived in Bakersfield since the early 1950s, though neither were California natives They were introduced by mutual friends at a local bowling alley. Don proposed six months later, and they were married in 1952.
After their marriage, the two traveled to Germany, where Don worked as a civil engineer for the U.S. Army. While there, the two adopted two sons from a German orphanage. After they returned to Bakersfield, Don ran his own civil engineering firm, while Maxine worked as a nurse.
In early June, the ailing couple moved in with Sloan in order to be near family. Don had entered the hospital for treatment on his broken hip and pneumonia, but Sloan had him moved back into her home on July 19, and placed his bed next to Maxine’s.
Maxine died at 7 a.m. on the 21st. At 10 a.m., as her body was being taken from the room, Sloan noticed her grandfather’s breathing was becoming labored. Within the hour, he was dead as well.
“When her body left the room,” Sloan told The Bakersfield Californian, “his soul left with her.”
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