‘People can die of a broken heart’: Couple, 77, married for 56 years pass away holding hands just hours apart because ‘they didn’t want to live without each other’
- Will and Judy Webb, both 77, held hands and died within hours of each other
- Michigan couple were married 56 years and husband’s illness mirrored his wife’s
- In December, Judy had a procedure that ‘didn’t go well’
- Judy perked up when daughter offered to reunite her with Will in a hospice
- Daughter said: ‘People can die from a broken heart, and I feel like that’s what happened to my dad’
- Judy rubbed his hand and slipped away on March 6
- Their daughter said: ‘They didn’t want to live without each other’
A Michigan couple who were married for 56 years died on the same day within hours of each other on March 6.
Will and Judy Webb, both 77, were battling illnesses and their daughter said they spent two months in separate hospitals in the lead-up to them passing away.
The story has led to the duo being compared to characters in the 2004 movie, The Notebook.
Will and Judy Webb, both 77, died within hours of each other on March 6 in a Michigan hospice
The couple held hands during their final hours and Judy rubbed her husband’s hand as he died
The Michigan couple were married 56 years and the husband’s illness mirrored his wife’s
In December, Judy had a procedure that ‘didn’t go well’, daughter MaryBeth said. She almost died due to infection on New Year’s Eve and was transported to Henry Ford Hospital.
‘My dad — seeing her like that — it was too much for him,’ their daughter told News Herald about the printer-turned-beverage distributor. ‘From that point on, everything that happened to her happened to him in a different place.
‘She spiked a fever, he spiked a fever. She started getting congestion, he got pneumonia. She got a reaction from a medication called metabolic encephalopathy, then he turned around and that’s what he had.’
The feelings of illness were made worse by Judy being apart from the man she’d been with for decades. They missed their anniversary for the first time in 13 years during that period, MaryBeth told WXYZ.
In December, Judy (right) had a procedure that ‘didn’t go well’. Then Will (left) got sick too
Judy (center) perked up when daughter offered to reunite her with Will (right) in a hospice
‘To me, they didn’t want to live without each other,’ their daughter said. ‘I know it sounds crazy, but people can die from a broken heart, and I feel like that’s what happened to my dad. All my mom wanted to do — she wasn’t really responding real well — and I asked if she wanted to just do comfort care and go be with dad. She perked up, shot her head right up and said, ‘Yes, where is he?’
The pair were reunited in a hospice and as Will – one of 11 siblings – slipped away, a very poorly Judy subtly responded by rubbing his hand.
Hours later Judy – who worked in infectious disease at a hospital – took her last breath.
She left behind two brothers named Ronald and Donald.
Their daughter said ‘people die of a broken heart’. ‘They didn’t want to live without each other’
The Melvindale couple survived by their three daughters Lori Thomas, Ann Warren and Mary Beth, five grandchildren (David, Nichole, Ivy, Rykki and Brycen) and four great-grandchildren (Mackenzie, Regan, Avery and Easton).
Their funeral took place Tuesday morning at Michigan Memorial Funeral Home, and they were later cremated at The Witness Crematory.
The story has had people across the US contacting MaryBeth to tell her how similar it is the film starring Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling.
‘I’ve never seen the movie ‘The Notebook’, so whenever anybody made reference to it, I didn’t know what they were talking about it,’ she said. ‘I told one of my friends, ‘I’ve never seen it, I’m going to have to watch it.’ She said, ‘You just lived it.’
‘Hearing from people warms my heart because it is a great love story. But I still lost my parents. I’m happy that they went together and don’t have to suffer losing each other, but it’s still hard.’
Melvindale couple survived by their three daughters Lori Thomas, Ann Warren and Mary Beth