Couple Who Served in WWII Together, Married for Seven Decades, Pass Away on Same Day

The most magical love stories often don’t take place in movies but in the lives of real-life couples who have boundless love for each other. Those in doubt need look no further than this couple, who died within hours of each other after more than 70 years of shared life.

Preble Staver and Isabell Whitney first met on a blind date in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they studied in the early 1940s.

The flower of love was planted but it would take some time before it would blossom into something wonderful.

World War II was storming in Europe and both youngsters joined the Allies’ in an effort to defeat the Nazi regime. Isabell was stationed in Maryland and worked as a Navy nurse, while Preble became a Marine and was awarded a bronze star for his bravery.

Five months after the end of the war, the two lovers finally married on February 15, 1946.

It was the starting point of a wonderful marriage that lasted seven decades and ended as majestically as it began.

After they got married, Isabell and Preble had five children. Isabell raised them and was the head of the family as Preble made several career transitions in his life. The two supported each other when their son Peter suffered a tragic death while playing football in his senior high school year.

Isabell went back to nursing as soon as the children were all grown up.

Posted by Laurie Staver Clinton on Friday, February 15, 2013

Daughter Laurie Staver Clinton, now aged 62, described her parents to People magazine.

“They were great people. Mom really taught me that you can’t change another person but you can change your attitude towards them,” she said.

“Dad was a bit of a prickly pear! Dad was the strict one. Mom tried to be strict, but we knew what we could get away with her. It was pretty much a father rules the roost sort of thing.”


Back in 2013, the couple moved into a care facility in Norfolk, Virginia after doctors diagnosed Isabell with dementia.

Watching his wife suffer took a toll on Preble, and sadly he and Isabell were placed in different rooms. Luckily, Isabell still remembered him.

“Sometimes, we’d have to tell her to focus and look but when she looked and knew it was dad, she’d get that little smile,” Laurie said.

Posted by Laurie Staver Clinton on Wednesday, October 18, 2017

As his 96th birthday was getting close, Preble made a touching plea. He requested to have one last nap with his wife.

The workers made the necessary arrangements for the two to lie side by side for a few hours.

Laurie explained:

 “There was not a single word spoken between the two of them. They held hands and just fell asleep. I told dad, ‘This is mom’s birthday present for you.’ He was just so happy that he got to take his nap with her.”

Posted by Laurie Staver Clinton on Friday, April 14, 2017

Not even a week later, Laurie was told that it was time to wish her mother farewell.

She and her dad went in to say their final goodbyes.

“He held her hand, and it was just so tender. I asked him if he wanted to stay after the prayers, and he shook his head. I said, ‘Okay, but you know that means you’re going to have to let go of her hand?’ I was crying, and he was crying,” Laurie said.

Later that day Isabell passed away and in just a matter of hours, Prebble followed her into heaven.

Astonishingly, the couple, who were born only fourteen days apart, died only fourteen hours apart.

Posted by Laurie Staver Clinton on Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Laurie shared her parent’s marital secret.

“Mom and dad really lived out that, if you make a commitment, and even though life gets rough or life gets in the way, you work through life, and you live your life together.”

We would like to share this scene from the 2004 film The Notebook with you. The similarities to Isabelle and Preble, and Allie and Noah’s story are striking, to say the least. 

What are your thoughts on this magical story? Let us know in the comment section and please share this article if you believe in true love!

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