@tlcm_16In this day and age, a marriage that stands the test of time may seem like a fairytale. Which makes a story like this one even more special, albeit a sad one. Ohio couple Helen (92) and Kenneth (91) Felumlee passed away on Saturday April 19th, within 15 hours of each other after being married for over 70 years. The couple's story began way back in 1941 when the two were introduced by Kenneth's ex-girlfriend. The couple dated for nearly three years before they took the plunge (in secret) and headed to the courthouse to elope on February 20th, 1944 - two days before Kenneth was actually old enough to legally get married. But as Jim Felumlee, the couple's son shared, "He couldn't wait!" The couple hardly had enough to cover the $2 fee to pay for the license but Helen and Kenneth went through with it, even though they hid it from their families for several weeks before Kenneth got up the courage to come clean. Once their marriage was out in the open, the new Felumlee family started to grow quickly. Helen and Kenneth went on to have a totally of eight children and had the work ethic to not only take care of themselves, but also their family. Kenneth had a wide variety of jobs, from railroad car inspector, mail carrier, Sunday school teacher and even operated Felumlee's Garage. While Kenneth was out working what appeared to be almost 24 hours a day at times, Helen stayed home and ran the house while also supporting the community. Helen's daughter-in-law Debbie joked that she kept Hallmark in business, sending out cards to members of the community not only for birthdays but also sympathy cards, holiday cards and greeting cards. "If you would forget your birthday, she would remind you." joked Helen's son Jim. Kenneth finally retired in 1983 and the couple fell in love with travelling, especially by bus, visiting almost all of the 50 states. Through it all, the couple was always together, sleeping side-by-side almost every night for their whole marriage. When Kenneth's health started to decline, Helen even started sleeping on the couch because she couldn't stand to be apart from her husband. Then two and a half years ago Kenneth had to have his leg amputated due to poor circulation. As Helen grew weaker in turn, she still found the strength to take care of her ailing husband, especially when it came to pushing him around in his chair. Finally Helen's health declined to a point where she was confined to a hospital bed and the pair could only reach out and hold each other's hands to stay in contact. Surrounded by friends and family, Helen passed away on Saturday morning and their children knew that their father wouldn't be far behind her. 12 hours after his wife passed Kenneth stated, "Mom's dead." Kenneth faded quickly after that, joining his wife a mere three hours later. Of the passing of her parents, Linda Cody says, "It was a wonderful going away party. He was ready. He just didn't want to leave her here by herself." If only all love stories had such a sweet ending.
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