An elderly couple who couldn’t face life apart died within hours of each in a real-life love story echoing the plot of Holllywood blockbuster The Notebook.
John Northern, 73, and wife Pam, 72, had been married for 50 years before they both fell ill and died in their home just before Christmas.
They were found on December 20 and their family say their deaths resemble the story in the 2004 movie The Notebook, where an elderly man dies peacefully in bed alongside his childhood sweetheart.
Mr Northern is believed to have died from pneumonia while his wife passed away from cancer.
Their only son Alan, 44, from Derby, said: “My parents were the most selfless people you could ever meet.
“They were always willing to help others, even at the expense of their own comfort and convenience.
“They would reject help for themselves except only in the most extreme circumstances, much preferring their independence and working through things together as a team.
“They lived their lives entwined together and now they are at peace together. It’s like the real-life story from The Notebook.
“My mum and dad absolutely adored each other and they did virtually everything together, apart from my dad’s snooker games with his mates.
“Yes there was the odd falling out, but they soon made up and came together as one again.
“They had been diagnosed with illnesses over the previous year or two.
“My mum’s bowel cancer had returned after being clear for well over ten years and my dad succumbed to a rapid onset of pneumonia.
“I know they wouldn’t have wanted to be apart. It was devastating to lose them both but they are together forever.”
The couple, who used to run a taxi firm together, were discovered at their home in Horncastle, Lincs., when a friend saw Mrs Northern’s body through the window.
Alan added: “I had just returned from a weekend away in Prague with Syreeta my girlfriend, and a good friend of my dad’s called me to tell me he had gone round to see dad, but through the window, had discovered my mum downstairs.
“I felt numb with shock and I suppose I still do. I really do not think that it has fully sunk in yet as whilst they were old and frail, I did not expect to lose them so suddenly and both so close together.
“It was meant to be I think, I don’t believe either of them would have been terribly happy alone for any period of time.
“He was well known in the area for his taxi firm and will be sadly missed by a lot of his older customers who have known him for over 30 years.
“He loved his job and was always helping people in town, going above and beyond the normal role of a taxi driver.
“In 1982 they moved to the West Ashby/Horncastle area and remained there ever since.
“Dad ran this taxi business until 2008 when he retired and since then they had continued to live a most peaceful life, spending virtually all of their time together, often going for walks in local woodlands and forests.
“They were both amazingly humble and for the most part kept themselves to themselves and shunned the limelight, preferring each other’s company at home.
“My fondest memories of them are of the love and support they gave me when I was growing up, their generosity knew no bounds.
“I was their only child and they were there for me at every turn in my life.
“From a personal perspective they were the most generous and loving parents I could have ever wished for and they made countless personal sacrifices to give me the best opportunity in life.”
After marrying the following year, the couple moved from Leicester to Woodhall Spa, Lincs., in 1976 where they had son Alan.
Their deaths have been compared to the plot in the hit blockbuster movie The Notebook.
The 2004 American romantic film stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple who fall in love in the 1940s.
After a life spent together, they pass away within hours of each other.
Mr and Mrs Northern will be laid to rest together in a joint funeral on January 17.