Fresno Bee: After 67 years of marriage, couple dies holding hands


The Fresno Bee

Floyd and Violet Hartwig
Floyd and Violet Hartwig

In hospital beds pushed together in their Easton home, Floyd and Violet Hartwig weren’t able to communicate the day they died — at least, not in words.

Their breathing told another story.

As the couple lay side by side and held hands, family members noticed their breathing was often synchronized. At one point, it jumped simultaneously from around five to 16 breaths a minute.

Granddaughter Cynthia Letson smiled as she remembered. “It was like they were all revived or something.”

“I think that’s what kept them going … that they each had the other one,” said the Hartwigs’ daughter, Donna Scharton. “They didn’t want to go without each other.”

And they didn’t.

On Feb. 11, after 67 years of marriage, they died within hours of each other at home.

Floyd, 90, died first, still holding his wife’s hand. Violet, 89, died five hours later.

Read more at The Fresno Bee.