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A love story that lasted nearly three-quarters of a century ended only minutes apart last week when a Kentucky couple married for 73 years died at nearly the exact same time.
William Wilson, 93, and his wife, Lillian, 89, had been together since they were high school sweethearts in the late 1930s. On April 7, the couple's son, Doug, 66, got a call at 3:52 a.m. from the Thomas Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore, Kentucky, telling him his father had died. Five minutes later, he received a call from Richmond Place, a retirement community in Lexington where his mother lived, informing him that she, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease like his father, had also passed away.
"I told the nurse, you're not going to believe this, but my father just passed away a couple minutes ago,'' Doug Wilson told the Lexington Herald-Leader. "She said, 'Oh my God.' She said that's like, 'The Notebook,' the movie, that they went together. It shocked me, and I just stayed numb for a while, not knowing what to do.''
Once the shock wore off, Doug was able to cherish his parents' enduring love story, reflecting on a romance that persevered through his father's time fighting in the Army in World War II and various job changes, including a radio show in which William was known as "Wild Bill" Wilson.
"They were a really loved couple,'' he told the Herald-Leader. "Wherever they went, they made lots of friends."