Husband and Wife Married for 77 Years & Died Hours Apart Buried Holding Hands in Single Casket

An elderly couple married for more than seven decades died hours apart in 2017. They raised six children, 18 grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. 

Nothing is more beautiful than finding a life partner who stays by your side through life’s highs and lows. “Till death do us part” is one of the most memorable wedding vows, but some couples experience it during their sweet communion. 

Surprisingly, a couple from Columbia, Missouri, were only apart for a few hours before being buried in the same casket, holding hands like they always had. 

Velva and Raymond Breuer. [Left] The couple walking together, holding hands. [Right] | Photo: facebook.com/raymond.breuer.9

96-year-old Velva Breuer and 97-year-old Raymond Breuer were childhood sweethearts. Their paths first crossed at a single-room primary school in Dawson Township in rural Phelps County. 

In the fourth grade, Raymond left a lasting impression on Velva when he jabbed her with a hot poker from the school fireplace that left a scar. While celebrating their 77th anniversary, he jokingly told the reporters that she married him to get even. 

The couple married in 1940 and spent 77 blissful years together. They raised six kids, three of whom were sent to Vietnam. The Breuers also had 18 grandkids, and many great-grandkids, and great-great-grandchildren.  

Raymond worked for Ford, whereas Velva stayed a homemaker for most of her life. While her sons served in the military, she worked at a Ben Franklin store in 1960. After Raymond’s retirement in 1978, they moved to North Carolina for 16 years.

The lovely couple was buried holding hands in the same casket at Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Louis.

Raymond preached in the rural Warne community, became a volunteer firefighter, taught at a local college, and served as president of a Gem and Mineral society. In 1994, the Breuers returned to Missouri to be close to one of their children in Hallsville. 

A LOVE TO LAST A LIFETIME

They attended church and often sat in the front row holding hands. When the couple moved to a retirement community, Raymond started his Thursday night class called “Bible Study with Ray.”

His grandson, Jason Hardin, revealed that his grandfather was kind-hearted and hard-working. The Breuers once told a reporter that they always ensured they patched up before the day ended despite their arguments.

On their 77th anniversary celebration, Velva expressed, “I wouldn’t trade him for anybody. He’s so good.” Raymond died on August 4, 2017. Before dying, he joked with the medical staff that he and Velva be buried in the same coffin if they left close together.

The couple’s son-in-law, Steve Hardin, shared how Velva went into shock when she received the news of her husband’s death. She said she couldn’t live without him, and it seemed she meant it. Velva passed away 30 hours after Raymond took his last breath.

It was the longest time they had been apart since they got married. The lovely couple was buried holding hands in the same casket at Oak Grove Cemetery in St. Louis.

Donna Hardin mentioned that her parents led a happy married life and had sharp memories even in old age. Thank you, Raymond and Velva, for making us believe in the institution of true love and marriage. Genuinely heartwarming!

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