Couple married 63 years dies hours apart

A Tennessee couple died hours apart after being happily married for more than six decades.

“They done everything together,” their son Roger Thomas, 49, of Jellico, told “That’s the way they wanted to go out. Together. It’s no surprise that it happened that way, really.”

Great-grandmother Helen Thomas was 79 years old when she died Tuesday after a battle with lung cancer.

Her husband Donald Thomas, 84, died just hours later. He was also battling lung cancer.

“One’s sick, the other one’s sick. One had a hard time breathing, the other was having a hard time breathing,” Thomas explained. “They lived their lives so together and so close.”

Helen was just 15 years old when she married Donald. He was serving in the military at the time, and at every chance he got, he would come home to visit her.

They lived with Donald’s parents until they were able to save up money for a home of their own.

Helen and Donald eventually welcomed a big family, including two sons, Roger and his older brother Charles, four grandchildren and 15 grandchildren.

“The more the merrier,” Roger joked.

Last year, Helen was diagnosed with lung cancer and soon after, Donald, who had been struggling with COPD, was also diagnosed with lung cancer.

“We don’t know what got dad — if it was the cancer, or COPD or giving up,” Roger said.