Couple Married For 70 Years Die 20 Minutes Apart
A Michigan couple who were married for 70 years and did everything together, died within 20 minutes apart in the same hospice care.
Les and Freda Austin, both 90-year-old and from Jackson, checked in hospice on December 6 and were in beds side by side when they died the following day.
The couple met in high school, had their first date at the school’s prom and got married in 1949. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in November 2019.
The couple’s son, Michael Austin, said:
I think they knew each other was passing and they are eternally together. And I think it was beautiful.
If they had to go, this way was about as romantic as you could get.
Their daughter, Sandy Maes, told reporters:
They did everything together. They didn’t stop with death.
They went and saw pretty much every lighthouse in Michigan and some beyond Michigan.
My dad has to have the biggest collection of lighthouse sweatshirts and T-shirts anywhere.
Freda enjoyed preparing meals for the family. She collected more than 1,000 cookbooks and was known for her chocolate chip and sour cream cookies, while Les liked John Wayne memorabilia and Both enjoyed camping in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and lighthouses.
Les angered his wife when he signed up for military service during the Korean War without telling Freda. One of their granddaughters, Leah Smith, said:
I know she was upset about that.
Seventy years together sure isn’t easy…but at the end of those 70 years together, they still cared so deeply for each other and loved each other so, so very much.
I’m so happy they went together. I think it would have been torture for either of them to be here alone.
In addition to Maes, Austin and Smith, the couple is survived by three other grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Funeral services for Les and Freda Austin were held on Tuesday, December 17, in Mason, near Lansing, Michigan.