WOODWAY, Texas -- Family members of a Texas couple, who were married for 74 years and died hours apart on Oct. 27, said they are blessed neither one of their parents would have had 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 David Cherry, the couple's 72-year-old son and a retired Waco lawyer.
Leonard Cherry, 95, had been placed in hospice just a few days before at the St. Catherine Center. 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 told KWTX.
Leonard Cherry died shortly before 1 p.m. on Oct. 27. Hazel Cherry died 10 hours later around 11 p.m.
"I feel blessed that daddy's suffering is over. 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, said the couple's story 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 wife was born a little more than two years later in Fayette County. The high school sweethearts married in January, 1942 in Muldoon.
He 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 Leonard Cherry went to work as an auto body repairman in Fort Worth. In 1949, he 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.