HOW IT OUGHT TO BE: Real-Life ‘Notebook’ Couple Dies Hand-in-Hand

Editor: Hard to imagine this kind of thing nowadays in our microwavable, throw-away, quick-and-easy culture — but I think this is the way things ought to be …

By NICOLE PELLETIERE
ABC News

“They weren’t fancy. They were just decent people that were always committed to each other, no matter the situation.”

That’s how Donna Scharton remembers her beloved parents, Floyd and Violet Hartwig, before they died on Feb. 11.

The couple, who had been married for 67 years, died in their home in a very Notebook-like situation.

As the two laid close to one another, Scharton and other immediate family members pushed their beds close together as they all knew the end was near.

“My mom had dementia for the last several years and around the holidays we noticed she was going down,” Scharton of Fresno, California said. “Then, I got a call from the doctor saying ‘your dad has kidney failure and he has two weeks to live.’ So, we decided to put them in hospice together.”

Prior to their declining health, the Hartwigs owned a ranch in Easton, California. The two met while in grammar school and had developed a relationship upon Mr. Hartwig returning home from the Navy.

They married on Aug. 16, 1947 and had two other children, Carol and Kenneth, in addition to Scharton.

“My dad was in the Navy for six years,” she told ABC News. “He worked for the J.B. Hill Company delivering eggs and then for a feed company. Mom stayed home, helped take care of the ranch, and cooked all the meals. She made breakfast for dad at 4:30 in the morning every day.”

Scharton said that although his health was deteriorating, her father’s main priority was the love of his life.

“He would tell the doctor, ‘I’m okay I just want her fixed’,” she added. “That was his concern; not how bad his pain was, but that he wanted my mom fixed.”

“We could tell my dad was in a lot more pain,” Scharton cried. “We said ‘it’s getting close,’ so we pushed the hospital beds together as far as we could. We put their hands together, and my dad died holding my mom’s hand. Mom was not coherent, but we told her that dad had passed away and that he was waiting for her. She died five hours later.”

Scharton’s daughter, Cynthia Letson, remembers her grandparents as simple people who just loved having their family beside them.

“They never, ever asked for anything,” she said. “All they ever wanted was … Keep Reading the Rest @: Real-Life ‘Notebook’ Couple Dies Hand-in-Hand

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