Couple married for 67 years dies hours apart

Posted at 2:52 PM, Feb 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-27 14:56:48-05

Fresno, Ca. – The love story of a California couple is being remembered as a real-life version of The Notebook.

Married for 67 years, the devoted couple died within hours of each other this month.

But their great-grandson insists their true love story is even more romantic than fiction.

In the early 1940’s, Floyd Hartwig was a WWII sailor fighting in the Pacific.

For six years he and his sweetheart Violet kept in touch across the seas by mail.

“There are 130 letters. The first one was in 1946 when they started writing.”

Donna Scharton is their oldest daughter.

She has pages and pages they scribbled with devotion.

“Need your arms around me darling, hope it will be soon honey. All my love darling, and take care of yourself, love you, love you and shall always love you honey for as long as I live.”

The Hartwigs got married in 1947.

He called her Vi, worked at a feed company and delivered eggs.

She called him Blondie.

And together for 67 years, they raised a family.

“They were very supportive parents,” says Donna.

At 90, Floyd suffered kidney failure.

And at 89, Violet fought dementia.

But they never forgot about their love for one another.

“My dad was using his cane and short of breath,” says Donna, “But he kept helping her, wanting to help her.”

Scharton described February 11th.

That’s the day family members knew the elderly couple wouldn’t get any better, but instead would remain devoted to one another until they passed away.

“When we could see it was really getting close we pushed their hospital beds together and moved them over so they could hold hands and my dad died holding my mom’s hand and my mom died five hours later (pause). They were meant to go together.”

Losing two people he adores has been heartbreaking for 16-year-old great-grandson Jake Curtis.

“I think about them every day.”

He’s heard people describe his great grandparents as the couple from the movie The Notebook, but their story he says is sweeter because they truly lived their life dedicated to one another.

“It’s a lot better, like The Notebook but a lot more interesting.”

“At the funeral home there were two caskets, and my brother and I were standing together and we said it was meant to be,” says Donna. “That’s the way they were meant to go, together.”