Michigan couple dies of natural causes just minutes apart
An inseparable Michigan couple has died peacefully within just 20 minutes of one another, after being married for 70 years.
Les and Freda Austin, both 90 years old, died of natural causes as they lay next to one another on December 7.
The pair “lived a full life together” after enjoying 70 years of marriage.
The husband and wife, who married in 1949, both entered hospice care at Henry Ford Allegiance in Jackson, MI, on December 6.
Les passed away first the next day, and Freda followed him shortly after he took his last breath.
Their family says their heads then fell into the direction of one another in their dying moments.
“They did everything together. They didn’t stop with death,” their daughter Sandy Maes told MLive.com.
“I think they knew each other was passing and they are eternally together.
“And I think it was beautiful.”
Their son, Michael Austin, told the news site: “If they had to go, this way was about as romantic as you could get.”
Les and Freda, who celebrated their 70th anniversary in November, have a total of two children, four grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
Freda worked as a manager at Brail Dry Cleaning and was “an impeccable homemaker,” according to their obituary.
Les served in the US Air Force as an airborne radio operator and retired from the Michigan State Police after 40 years of service.
He retired as a sergeant with the state police.
While Les worked with the force, he helped develop a crash reconstruction program.
Les and Freda, who met in high school through a mutual friend, loved going on camping trips.
“Together Les and Freda enjoyed traveling and camping throughout Michigan and focused their travels on lighthouse locations and the Upper Peninsula,” the obituary reads.
Freda had a love for collecting cookbooks and collecting Christmas villages while Les enjoyed his John Wayne memorabilia collection and had a love for Western movies.
Though while they loved one another deeply, they weren’t without struggles.
In one instance, the two argued when Les signed up for the Korean War without talking to his wife first.
“I know she was upset about that,” their granddaughter Leah Smith told MLive.com.
“Seventy years together sure isn’t easy … but at the end of those 70 years together, they still cared so deeply for each other and loved each other so, so very much.”
The couple will be laid to rest Tuesday afternoon in Mason.