An Ohio couple, both 100, died 20 hours apart after 79 years of marriage.
Hubert Malicote passed away on Nov. 30 at 9:15 p.m., and June Malicote took her final breath at 5:40 p.m. the following day.
June’s health had been failing for several years, according to her daughter Jo Malicote. But Hubert only started to decline after his wife started hospice care.
“He went from 100 to zero in the span of three days,” Jo tells TODAY.com. “My dad saw what was happening to mom. He knew the prognosis and he wasn’t going to let her go alone. He lined up to be with her."
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Hubert, who had been riding his tractor and working in his wood shop one week earlier, joined June in hospice, where nurses pushed two beds together.
“When dad passed they were in hand in hand," Jo reveals. Hours later, June "slipped away to be with him."
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"It's like she knew he was gone," Jo, who is one of Hubert and June's three children, says. "We gave her permission to go be with Dad. We gathered in her room and said, 'He's waiting for you,' and I know she heard us."
In June, Hubert, a WWII Veteran, told TODAY.com he couldn’t imagine life without June by his side. The pair met at church when they were 19, and went on to survive everything from the Great Depression to Covid. In 79 years of marriage, they claimed to have never had a single quarrel.
“It’s kind of like if we aren’t together, the team is broken,” Hubert explained.
June celebrated her 100th birthday on July 13, and Hubert on the 23rd.
“They had a beautiful life. They were like a well-oiled machine, where everything just worked right,” Jo shares. “Our loss is great, but we are taking comfort in knowing they gained eternity together.”
This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: