Harold and Ruth Knapke were married for 65 years. The Ohio couple died 11 hours apart, in the same room. Their children and grandchildren say Harold and Ruth remained devoted until the very end.
As reported by USA Today, Harold and Ruth both passed away on August 11 at the Versailles Health Care Center, Versailles, OH. Daughter Margaret Knapke explains that her father never left her mother’s side:
“We believe he wanted to accompany her out of this life and into the next one, and he did.”
Harold and Ruth Knapke met when they were children. Their friendship continued while Harold served in the Army during WWII. The friends exchanged letters throughout Harold’s time overseas.
The friendship gradually developed into something special. When asked about how they fell in love, Ruth always said “I let him chase me until I caught him!”
Following his time in the Army, Harold went on to become a teacher. He eventually became a coach and athletic director for Fort Recovery schools.
Ruth was a secretary at the former West Elementary School.
As stated in the couple’s obituary, Harold and Ruth Knapke had six children, 14 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren.
Harold and Ruth were active members of the St. Remy Catholic Church.
A joint funeral was held for the couple at Mary Help of Christians Catholic Church. The couple’s granddaughters served as pall bearers for Ruth. The grandsons carried Harold’s casket.
The funeral procession stopped at the home the couple shared for the majority of their marriage. The current owners flew their flag at half-staff to honor the Knapkes.
Daughter Carol Romie discusses her parents’ love and devotion:
“It is really just a love story… They were so committed and loyal and dedicated, they weren’t going to go anywhere without the other one.”
Harold and Ruth Knapke would have been married for 66 years on August 20. The obituary states that the Knapkes spent their “wedding anniversary together in heaven.”