Couple who served in World War II together, married for 7 decades, die on the same day

The following story is a prime example of true love that lasted for 7 whopping decades. For sure, your heart will melt after reading this.

While pursuing studies in Philadelphia, Preble Staver, who was born on October 17, 1921, and Isabell Whitney, born on October 31 of the same year, they stumbled upon each other on a blind date. Since their meeting, these two youngsters developed a strong bonding and they knew exactly how to maintain a long-lasting relationship and to go through life closely connected with each other.


When the United States faced the wrath of Second World War, the couple planned to sign up. While Preble joined as a Marine, Isabell was a Navy nurse in Maryland. Five months following the end of the war, they reunited and got married on February 15, 1946.

After the war, Preble plied his trade as a lobbyist and banker, so they had to jet off around U.S. places, including Virginia, Florida, and South Carolina.

According to one of their five children, the 63-year-old Laurie Staver Clinton, Preble was “a tall, outgoing man with a strong, ‘larger than life’ personality” and Isabell was regarded as “[her] heart” and someone who “taught [her] how to be a kind person, how to be a compassionate person.”

In the year 1975, their son, Peter, passed away during the last football game of his high school senior year. Laurie recalls, “At that point, we began to really see a softer side of my dad. Parents aren’t supposed to bury their kids and that really took a toll on my folks, but it also brought them together. Something like that can either tear a couple apart, but they made a pact to get through it together. They really were each other’s support team.”

Life threw several challenges later on, and in 2013, Isabell started showing mental illness. This made the pair shift into a long-term care facility in Norfolk, Virginia. Though they stayed in the same place they slept in separate rooms. They ran through tough times, especially for Preble, who was forced to see his sweetheart go deeper into the disease.

Laurie says: “They just found another way to express their love. Dad, even after he stopped walking and was in a wheelchair, he would wheel himself down to the Memory Care Unit and go visit mom. When I would reunite them, they always, the first thing they’d do was put their hands out and hold each other’s hand and tell each other they loved each other.”

Preble was one last wish prior to his 96th birthday. It is to have 1 more special nap with his wife. Thankfully, his wish came true with the help of the staff of the facility, and the couple had a 3-hour nap, so as to make more love together. “There was not a single word spoken between the two of them. They held hands and just fell asleep.”

Only several days later, on October 25, 2017, Isabell drew her last breathe, and so was her husband Preble who passed away after 14 hours and that was the end of a beautiful love story. It was indeed an amazing life together, which lasted for 71 years.

(With inputs from Healthy Food House)