There's a line in the movie The Princess Bride that the story of Leonard and Hazel Cherry calls to mind: "Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while."
For the Cherrys, who celebrated their 74th wedding anniversary this year, true love was delayed for less than a day; the couple passed away just hours apart on October 27.
"They had so much love for each other," said 72-year-old David Cherry, Leonard and Hazel’s only son, in an interview with People. "No question, they are both up above, smiling. They'll always be together."
According ing to People, Leonard and Hazel were high school sweethearts who grew up together in the town of Flatonia, Texas. They got married in 1942.
Leonard trained as a bomber pilot in the Army Air Corps, later training other pilots rather than fighting in World War Two. When Hazel gave birth to David in 1944, they moved to Fort Worth and started an auto shop. They eventually sold the shop and moved to Waco in 1980 to be closer to David and his family.
David, who himself has two children and four grandchildren, said he never heard the pair fight — not even once. He told People that "they never really spent a day apart unless it was for a family emergency or something."
After Leonard began showing signs of dementia several years ago, the couple moved to an assisted living facility in Waco. Though they stayed in separate sections of the home, "up until the very end, until right before they died, she was with him every day and ate lunch with him in his room," David said.
After her health suddenly deteriorated, 93-year-old Hazel died at a hospital at 12:30 p.m. on October 27. Though Leonard wasn't told that she passed, about 10 minutes after she died his caregiver said he went from restless to relaxed. He died ten hours later at age 95.
"There was no question that their love was always there," David said, later adding that their same-day deaths were "what God wanted."
“And I think it’s what they wanted too.”