Les and Freda Austin, Jackson, Michigan couple married 70 years die 20 minutes apart. Family members remember a couple who were inseparable.
They were inseparable. A Michigan couple who were married for 70 years died within 20 minutes of each other, according to their children.
Les and Freda Austin, of Jackson, enjoyed a ‘full life together’ for more than seven decades. The 90-year-olds took their last breaths while lying side by side in their beds in hospice care Saturday, according to their joint obituary on Legacy.com.
‘Together Les and Freda enjoyed traveling and camping throughout Michigan and focused their travels on lighthouse locations and the Upper Peninsula,’ the obituary reads.
Sandy Maes said her parents were inseparable.
‘They did everything together,’ Maes told via MLive.com. ‘They didn’t stop with death. I think they knew each other was passing and they are eternally together. And I think it was beautiful.’
Les — a US Air Force veteran who retired from the Michigan State Police after a 40-year career — passed away first, causing his beloved’s eyebrows to sink despite the fact that she wasn’t conscious at the time, relatives said.
The couple’s heads then fell into the direction of one another in their dying moments, according to their son.
‘If they had to go, this way was about as romantic as you could get,’ Michael Austin added.
Freda, who worked as a manager at Brail Dry Cleaning in Jackson, had collected decorative Christmas villages and was an ‘impeccable homemaker,’ according to her obit.
It wasn’t always roses….
The couple, who married in 1949, met in high school through a mutual friend and went to the prom together as their first date. They had typical ups and downs as a married couple while managing to celebrate their 70th anniversary last month, MLive.com reported.
The couple reportedly loved camping and regularly took trips to UP and Tawas City. They liked visiting lighthouses and scouting garage sales for bargains as well, with Maes saying, ‘They went and saw pretty much every lighthouse in Michigan and some beyond Michigan. My dad has to have the biggest collection of lighthouse sweatshirts and T-shirts anywhere.’
But it wasn’t always roses.
One memorable spat between the couple – family members say – took place when Les signed up for the Korean War without talking to Freda first.
‘I know she was upset about that,’ granddaughter Leah Smith told the website. ‘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.’
Funeral services for the couple — who are survived by two children, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren — will be held Tuesday in Mason.