Inseparable Georgia couple, who were married for 71 years, pass away just 12 hours apart from one another

Inseparable Georgia couple, who were married for 71 years, pass away just 12 hours apart from one another

A 94-year-old veteran of multiple wars and an 88-year-old woman who had been married for 71 years died just 12 hours apart from one another in what experts say might be a case of broken heart syndrome. 

Herbert DeLaigle, 94, and Marilyn Frances DeLaigle, 88, passed away on Friday, July 12, after seven decades together, according to WAGT.

Herbert died at 2:20 am that morning and his wife passed away at 2:20 pm that same afternoon.

Herbert and Frances met at a Waynesboro Cafe where the latter was working when they were just 22 and 16 respectively. For Herbert, it was love at first sight. 

"Frances worked at a little cafe we had in Waynesboro named White Way Cafe," he said during a 2018 interview. "I kept seeing her going in and out, in and out and I had my eyes set on her. And then I finally got up the nerve to ask her if she would go out with me sometime."


He succeeded in asking her out and, for their first date, they went to the movies. A year later, he asked her hand in marriage, a question to which Frances immediately responded with a yes. 

But the marriage almost didn't happen, and Frances said it was because of Herbert's propensity to always be late.

Herbert revealed the preacher almost didn't marry them because they were an hour late to the church.

However, he managed to convince the preacher to proceed, and they tied the knot in a rushed ceremony.

They didn't mind, especially considering how cheap the entire affair turned out to be. "$5 is all I paid for her," Herbert had joked.

The rest, as they say, is history. Their bond never wavered, and Frances said her husband kept her laughing all through her life, even during those difficult times.

According to an obituary, Frances even spent six years in Germany with her husband, who served in the army during World War II. Herbert also served in the Korea and Vietnam wars and eventually retired from the army after 22 distinguished years of service. 


"It's amazing how they were together for 71 years and now they are together in Heaven," the DeLaigle family said in a statement after their passing. "What an amazing love story that is."

Speaking to CNN, Dr. Matthew Lorber, a psychiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, suggested that this may have been a case of broken heart syndrome.

"Broken heart syndrome — which is, in fact, a real thing — is when someone finds out some shocking news, typically terrible news, and there's a massive release of these stress hormones that are released into the bloodstream, and the heart is then bombarded with these stress hormones," he said.

The couple is survived by their six children, 16 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.

A funeral service for the couple was held on Monday, July 15, at Botsford Baptist Church.


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 Inseparable couple married 71 years die pass away 12 hours apart war veteran broken heart syndrome