Michigan couple married for 70 years dies minutes - and inches - apart

A Michigan couple was married for 70 years, and family members said they did everything together. Their final day was also spent together, as Les and Freda Austin died Dec. 7 -- minutes and inches apart.

The couple, who were both 90, entered a hospice center together Dec. 6. They died the next day, 20 minutes apart, in beds side by side, MLive reported.

Leslie Leland Austin married Freda Marjorie Johnstone on Nov. 12, 1949, in Mason, Michigan, according to state marriage records. They did jigsaw puzzles together and camped in upper Michigan. Freda Austin had more than 1,000 cookbooks, while Les Austin collected John Wayne memorabilia, MLive reported.

“They did everything together. They didn’t stop with death,” the couple’s daughter, Sandy Maes, told the website. “I think they knew each other was passing and they are eternally together. And I think it was beautiful.”

Les Austin died first, and while Freda Austin was unconscious, family members said her eyebrows sunk down, MLive reported. She followed her husband in death 20 minutes later, her head facing her husband's.

“If they had to go, this way was about as romantic as you could get,” Michael Austin, the couple’s son, told the website.

Les Austin was a retired state police sergeant, while Freda Austin managed a dry cleaning shop in Jackson, MLive reported.

The couple's funerals are set for Tuesday.

"I'm so happy they went together," Smith told MLive. "I think it would have been torture for either of them to be here alone."

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