Elderly couple take their own lives after discovering husband's terminal illness: 'Neither one of us wishes to live without the other'

Howard Titterton, 80, and his 78-year-old wife Jacqueline wrote several jointly signed letters that they left behind for their friends, police, and their lawyer


                            Elderly couple take their own lives after discovering husband's terminal illness: 'Neither one of us wishes to live without the other'

An elderly couple in Wales reportedly decided to take their own lives after learning that the husband had only a short time left to live owing to a terminal illness he suffered from.

In one of the several jointly signed letters that the couple left behind for their friends, police, and their lawyer, Howard Titterton, 80, and his 78-year-old wife, Jacqueline wrote, “Neither one of us wishes to live without the other," North Wales Live reported. 

The couple also added that they had lived "a great life” and they reached an agreement to take their own lives without either of them putting any pressure on the other as they had meticulously planned their suicides, an inquest hearing in Ruthlin revealed.

Their bodies were found in their home in St Asaph on November 13, 2018.

The husband, Howards, was a retired research and development officer with glass manufacturer Pilkington. He had been suffering from bowel cancer and was receiving palliative care at home. His wife, a former nurse, was providing him the care at home.

The couple left a key to their house with their next-door neighbors so the police could enter the home. They also added labels to various possessions with names of the people whom they wanted to receive the items.

Assistant Coroner David Pojur was the one to record the conclusions of the double suicide after he heard the details about the couple.

Their neighbor Andrew Thomas said in a statement that Titterton had started showing signs of frailness but seemed “okay" even a few days before his death.

Andrew's wife, Susan Thomas, described the elderly deceased couple as “lovely people” and mentioned how shocking the tragedy was; she, however, also added that Jacqueline had given her a park-and-ride ticket the previous day, telling her she would not be using it - something Susan had found strange. 

On the morning of November 13, Andrew found an envelope that had been pushed through his mail slot and contained money and a note. The note indicated that the elderly couple had killed themselves and asked the neighbors to alert authorities. “I wondered if I was reading what I was,” Andrew said.

The Tittertons had no children, but they enjoyed traveling and they shared an interest in music and photography.

Police found Howard lying in an empty bathtub, covered by a blanket and clad in a dressing gown. His wife was lying on the bed.

Pathologist Dr. Brian Rodgers said that the couple died of suffocation. The inquest heard the couple had died a short time apart, and Jacqueline had assumably put the blanket and dressing gown over her husband.

If you have a news scoop or an interesting story for us, please reach out at (323) 421-7514