This couple married 68 years died within a day of each other


Grab a hankie, because this story is both sad and incredibly lovely.

An elderly Minnesota couple died within 33 hours of each other after 68 years of marriage, and were laid to rest together days later.

As first reported by local Minnesota station KARE 11, Corinne and Robert Johnson spent a lifetime together before they passed prior to Thanksgiving. They raised seven children on their farm in rural Minnesota, where they were able to live independently until earlier this year.

Robert and Corinne shared a room in the hospital — Robert in his final days of living with cancer, Corinne struggling with congestive heart failure. Corinne died first, on Nov. 24, with Robert following her the next day.

“They went on their terms,” their youngest son, Brent Johnson, told KARE.


The Johnsons married in 1951. According to her obituary, Corinne worked as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in North Dakota for a year before her wedding to Robert.

“She got her first taste of life as a farmer’s wife when Robert worked all day harvesting with his brother Jerry before their wedding ceremony,” reads the obit.

Corinne enjoyed baking, sewing, gardening and her Card Club, a group of ladies who gathered each month for decades to play cards and chat.

Robert worked hard on the farm, raising cows, pigs and chickens, and growing soybeans, alfalfa, corn and wheat. He made time to relax, though, following his kids’ sports adventures with Corinne and hanging with friends after church.

“Robert was quick-witted and clever, always ready for a joke or a laugh,” says his obituary. “He loved a good bowl of popcorn soaked in butter, shared with his kids or an episode of Johnny Carson. And he never said no to a bowl of ice cream, even licking the bowl clean.”

Here’s a video produced by KARE that shows the Johnson kids talking about the bittersweet coincidence of their parents’ deaths. It also includes a sweet moment where Corinne whispers “I love you” to Robert during their days in the hospital.

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What a beautiful love story. I’m going to go cry now.

Good News, Life, News

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About the Author
Kathleen St. John
Kathleen St. John is a freelance journalist. She lives in Denver with her husband, two kids and a fiercely protective Chihuahua. Visit Scripps News to see more of Kathleen's work.

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