A loving couple married for 60 years died within just days of each other and will be buried together in a double coffin holding HANDS.
Devoted Victor and Elsie Bower were teenage sweethearts who would cry when they had to spend time apart over their six decades of marriage.
The husband and wife passed away just nine days apart when Elsie, aged 80, died of a broken heart on February 17 after her beloved husband Victor, 82, died from blood cancer.
Daughter Sharon said the couple would not have wanted to be apart and will go together holding hands.
She said: “They were always together. They used to cry a lot if they ever had to spend time apart.
“Although my mum had medical problems, it was a broken heart that she died from.
“We knew she was going to die, it was just a case of when because she said to us: ‘I’m sorry for leaving you all’.
“They lived together and died together, so it was only right they went together too. I want them to go together holding hands.”
The couple, of Sheffield, South Yorks., tied the knot on March 27, 1954, and had two children, Sharon and Susan, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Victor was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and had gone into remission, only for it to return last year. He passed away at the Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield on February 8.
Elsie suffered with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and was suffering with pneumonia when she died in the nearby Northern General Hospital on February 17.
Victor served in Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment during World War Two, before working in telecommunications and later as a plasterer for the city council.
Elsie worked in inspection at various cutlery factories.
Sharon, 54, said: “They were really close and always together.
“Mum was in a wheelchair and on oxygen and because of that she never got to see him in hospital which upset her.
“We were going to try and get her down, but he died the night before.”
The couple’s funeral will be the first time a double coffin has been used in the funeral service in South Yorkshire.
Funeral director Michael Fogg was happy to help the family with their unusual request.
Mr Fogg said: “We were already looking after Victor’s funeral, so it wasn’t
until the night I was arranging it that Sharon told me Elsie had passed away.
“I thought what can I do as a funeral director to support a couple that even death couldn’t keep apart.
“To me it didn’t seem right to have separate coffins when all Elsie wanted to be was by the side of Victor.
“It is the first time a double coffin has been used in South Yorkshire. I’ve had to have this coffin specially made, the logistics of it have been a nightmare but who am I to separate two people who can’t be separated even in death?”
The couple lived in Sheffield before moving to Chesterfield with their young family. They returned to Sheffield and lived in Parson Cross for more than 30 years.
After retiring they enjoyed spending almost every weekend in their caravan at Saltfleet, Lincs.
Victor and Elsie will be laid to rest at a service at Grenoside Crematorium on Monday.
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