Couple Married 73 Years Die Hours Apart
Joe Auer, 100, followed Helen quickly
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2014 3:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – Joe Auer lived 100 years, surviving the Depression, a stint in World War II, and no fewer than 10 kids. But when his wife of 73 years died last week, that was it. Joe Auer lasted only 28 hours after Helen, 94, reports WPTV. "I think sleeping only one day from Mom, that was enough," explains son Jerry. "He couldn't take it any longer. He said I'm not going to sleep alone again." Their joint funeral was being held today before the same altar where they wed in 1941, reports the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The newspaper recounts a nice detail: When Joe set off overseas to fight in WWII, Helen was pregnant with their second child, Judy. Joe wouldn't meet Judy for another three years, but Helen managed to get him a photo of her with the two kids. As the Enquirer's John Faherty writes: "Joe carried that photo in his wallet as he trudged through Europe after landing at Utah Beach on D-Day. He kept that photo in his wallet, in fact, the rest of his life; smudged and worn and endlessly important." Son Jerry says it remains in his wallet to this day. (Click to read about two women in Iowa who wed after being together 72 years.)