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Couple married 73 years dies hours apart

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 12:22 AM EDT
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GARNER, Iowa (KCCI) - After a long life of love and faith together, a wife and her husband in their 90s died on the same day at a nursing home.

Jim Wold was 94 years old. Wanda Wold was 96.

One of their three children reminisced about their 73 years of marriage. Candy Engstler said her Tuesday started well before sunrise.

“They called from the nursing home about 4 a.m. and said she had passed,” she said.

Wanda Wold had died after battling Alzheimer’s disease for years. Engstler and her sister went to the nursing home to be with their father, who shared a room with his wife.

“He folded his hands with both of us on either side of his bed, and he said, ‘Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for taking her, and would you please take me now too?’’” Engstler said.

Hours later, Jim Wold, who was failing physically, got his wish.

“About 7 o’clock, I got the call that he had also passed,” Engstler said.

She says it is painful to lose both her parents on the same day, but she gets comfort from the fact her parents’ marriage was based on love and faith in God.

“They were lucky and fortunate that he allowed them both to go the same day,” their daughter said. “My dad wouldn’t have wanted to be here without her, so it was a blessing.”

She holds tight to the memories of her parents. She shared family video where the couple retold some of those memories for their 70th wedding anniversary.

“Was it love at first site when you guys met?” a person asks them in the video.

“I think it was for me, on my part at least. I don’t know about her,” Jim Wold says with a laugh.

“You know it was,” Wanda Wold responds.

“I know it was,” he says.

Engstler said her father lied about his age when he was 17 to join the Navy. It was not the only time he was less than truthful about how old he was.

“My mom was 96, which she didn’t like. She felt she robbed the cradle, and dad lied about his age,” Engstler said.

She says she will really feel the loss of her parents on special occasions. July 20 will always be sad, but the day will also be special.

“I just feel it was definitely their time, and the Lord called them and he called them in a beautiful way,” she said. “And so, I just hang on to that.”

The couple is survived by three kids, 10 grandkids and 24 great grandkids. They will be laid to rest Monday.

Copyright 2021 KCCI via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.