Chicago, USA – A couple who were married for 69 years, dubbed as “The Notebook” couple, died holding hands and only minutes apart.
Couple Isaac and Teresa Vatkin were just about to celebrate their 70th Wedding Anniversary when they passed away last month. Their final act was of love and unity, as they held each other’s hand until the very last minute.
“Through the sadness of it all, I’m so glad they left together,” their son Daniel Vatkin tells PEOPLE. “Their hands remained held until mom passed and she was taken away.”
Teresa was in the hospital when she passed away 12:10am on April 23rd. Isaac, who was suffering from influenza and had been put into the same room as his wife, died just 40 minutes later. They left behind three children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
The couple got married in 1947 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and moved to the US twenty years later with their three children; Leo, Daniel and Clara.
“My mom was his queen,” says Daniel. “They stuck together through thick and thin and they taught us what it means to be a loving [spouse] and how to love and say forget and forgive and move on.”
Through the years, Teresa’s health declined and she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s 10 years ago.
Desperate to save his wife, Isaac taught himself how to use the computer at the age of 80, so he could search for breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s research but Teresa’s condition worsened and she was moved into a care home.
When the couple were moved to a hospital last month, Isaac “waited” for his sweetheart to pass away before letting go himself.