Couple dies just hours apart day before 64th wedding anniversary

    2:01 PM, Dec 19, 2011   |    comments
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    LUBBOCK, TX (CBS) - A Lubbock, Texas couple was getting ready to celebrate 64 years of marriage, when the wife passed away. Then, just hours after she passed, the husband also died.

    Gary Hodges says, "When they made their vows they meant it and they made a commitment, so the only vow I think they broke was 'til death do us part. They were only apart for 12 hours they didn't like that one very much."

    For most, the thought of losing a parent seems devastating. Last week Gary Hodges lost his mother and 12 hours later his father as well. He says, "I know he would have missed her so much he would have been miserable we strongly believe that god took care of them and answered prayer."

    Frank and Wanda Hodges had the kind of marriage you don't hear about too much these days. Gary says, "They were definitely soul mates and best friends there was a connection there that was deeper than most marriages I think they really loved each other so that was huge."

    The couple had 5 children; Gary being the youngest and only son. Gary says, "He told him when he saw her that's the girl I'm going to marry."

    The family business was contracting. Frank and Wanda worked out of their home to have as much family time as possible. Gary says, "Basically that's how their whole life went they loved being together and they were one; had a very strong Christian faith."

    In 2003, Wanda's health became unstable but perhaps it was the stability of her marriage and devotion of her husband that kept her alive for another 8 years. Gary says, "Main quality of life was just being with each other that's why when my mother got sick my dad took care of her and he had to learn a lot of the household chores that she did."

    But in November Wanda had a bad fall where she broke her neck. Gary says, "He knew she was in very dire health so it really affected him so it wasn't really expected that he would go downhill that quick but he did."

    Frank's health deteriorated rapidly and soon both of Gary's parents were in comas. On Dec. 8, 79-year-old Wanda Hodges died and 12 hours later her husband, 84-year-old Frank, followed suit. The following day marked the couple's 64th wedding anniversary. Gary says, "They were still together on their 64th they never missed an anniversary together."

    And Gary Hodges says, watching his parents all those years rubbed off on him and his wife. They'll be celebrating 25 years this February.

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