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After 74 years together, couple dies on same day

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The family says the husband had been in hospice care, but his wife was in perfect health. (KTRK)

Family members of a Texas couple married for 74 years who died hours apart on Oct. 27 says they are blessed neither one of them will have to live alone.

"It's kind of hard you know, you can't pick up the phone and call them anymore, or call mother and can't go by and see Dad. But they are with Jesus now," said the couple's 72-year-old son, retired Waco lawyer David Cherry.

Leonard Cherry, 95, had been placed in hospice just a few days before at the St. Catherine Center in Waco while his wife Hazel, 93, who was in good health, had moved into The Village at Providence Park, an assisted independent living facility next door.

"Mother had been driving around town and still going to the grocery store as recently as two weeks ago, but Dad's health had been failing for some years," David Cherry said.

Leonard Cherry died shortly before 1 p.m. on Oct. 27.

Hazel Cherry died 10 hours later, at around 11 p.m.

"I feel blessed that Daddy's suffering is over and I feel blessed that Mom is with him and that she didn't have to live alone," David Cherry said.

The Cherry's only grandson, Waco lawyer Craig Cherry, says theirs was the quintessential love story.

"The two were always smiling and always deeply in love," he said.

Leonard Cherry was born in 1921 in Humble and his future wife was born a little more than two years later in Fayette County.

The high school sweethearts married in January, 1942 in Muldoon.

Leonard Cherry enlisted in the Army Air Corps at the start of World War II and became a B-24 bomber pilot.

He was stationed at Carswell Army Air Corps Base in Fort Worth where he trained others to fly the plane.

After the war he went to work as an auto body repairman in Fort Worth and in 1949 opened his own auto repair business, which he and his wife operated until 1980.

After selling the business, the couple moved to Woodway to be close to their son and grandchildren.

KWTX reports that a memorial service is scheduled Friday.
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