Livia Fortuna died less than an hour after Giuseppe, her husband of 69 years, succumbed to illness. The Italian couple married in their home country before the end of World War II, starting a 69-year marriage that their daughter Angela Munzenmair described as a “love story.”
The couple had seen deteriorating health for the past few years, and Livia knew that Giuseppe did not have much longer to live. Only a week before their death, she told her grandson that Giuseppe was dying. She added that she would be “going with him.”
Even though she had come to terms with his death, she became extremely emotional when she learned that it had happened. Nurses tried to calm her while she cried for her husband. Giuliana DiGeronimo, another daughter, said, “My mother was in shock to hear that my father had just died. She couldn't breathe and she was having a fit, even though she was on oxygen. Everybody used to say how much they loved each other and how my father was always trying to help my mother."
Psychiatric experts claim that it is possible for Livia to have died of extreme depression, but it is more likely that she refused medicine that was keeping her alive. Munzenmair realized that the couple needed each other, saying, “That was the end of the love story. She had to follow him.”
Giuseppe suffered from dementia and cancer for the last few years of his life while his wife was dealing with chronic obstructive lung disease. They lived together at the Smith House Health Care Center in Stamford, Connecticut. Giuseppe was 91 years old and his wife was 86.