Jeannette and Alexander Toczko shared a love that most people will never know.
They were both born in Stamford, Connecticut, in 1919 and they began dating when they were 8 years old. Earlier this month, they died within 24 hours of each other, less than two weeks shy of their 75th wedding anniversary. Alexander died in his wife’s arms on June 17, at the age of 95. Jeanette was 96.
The couple married in 1940 and later moved to San Diego, California, in the early 1970s. Alexander, a U.S. Navy veteran, established an advertising and fashion photography firm and Jeannette was the chief stylist, ABC News reported.
Recently, Alexander broke his hip and his health quickly took a turn for the worse, as did Jeannette’s.“He was going fast,” Richard Toczko, the couple’s son, told KGTV.
The couple had repeatedly expressed their wish to die together at home, so hospice care workers brought Alexander’s bed to to their house and placed it next to his wife. Jeannette repeatedly asked her children what day it was.
“June 29th?” she asked them, the date of her wedding anniversary. The children told her it was the couple’s 75th anniversary, even though it was more than 10 days to the anniversary date, and brought flowers and balloons to mark the occasion.
"And we said happy anniversary, and my mother was thrilled to death because it was their anniversary and she knew that he was going and that they had made it to 75 years," Aimee Toczko-Cushman, the couple's daughter, told KGTV.
A few hours later, Alexander’s breathing began to waver. "And he died in her arms, which is exactly what he wanted. I went in there and told my mother he was gone; she hugged him and she said, 'See, this is what you wanted. You died in my arms and I love you. I love you, wait for me, I'll be there soon,'" Toczko-Cushman said.
Jeanette died the next day. On June 29, they were buried together and their family celebrated the couple’s anniversary.
Screenshot via ABC News