Heartwarming story.  Click here to watch video…

DES MOINES, Iowa — An Iowa couple who was  married for 72 years died one hour apart last week in the hospital as they held  hands.

Family said the story of Gordon, 94, and Norma Yeager, 90, is a real-life  love story.  On the day she graduated from high school, Norma Stock promised to spend  forever with Gordon Yeager.  The couple got married on May 26, 1939 in State  Center.

“They’re very old-fashioned.  They believed in marriage til death do you  part,” said son Dennis Yeager.  Dennis Yeager was the youngest of four children born to the couple.  His  sister Donna was first born.  “Staying together for 72 years is good, I’d say that’s exceptional,” said  daughter Donna Sheets.

The way the kids tell it, dad was the life of the party while mom kept  everything together.  “Anybody come over — she was the hostess with the mostest.  She just  seriously — the more she did — the more she smiled,” said Dennis Yeager.  “Dad  would be the center of attention, like, ‘Weee look at me,’ and mom was like ‘get  him away from me!’  You know we even got a picture like that.”  (picture, right)

Norma didn’t really want the distance, and family said she hardly left  Gordon’s side for 72 years.  “They just loved being together.  Everybody argues once in awhile, but  they still, he said ‘I have to stick around.  I can’t go until she does because  I have to stay here for her and she would say the same thing,'” said Dennis  Yeager.

Dennis Yeager said the couple left home last Wednesday to go into town,  but they didn’t make it.  At the intersection of Highway 30 and Jessup Avenue just west of  Marshalltown, state troopers said Gordon pulled in front of an oncoming car.   The Iowa State Patrol crash report said the other driver attempted to avoid the  crash but was unable to stop in time.

“I rushed from Des Moines where I was working and saw them in the  hospital,” said Dennis Yeager.  In the intensive care unit of Marshalltown’s hospital, nurses knew not to separate Gordon and Norma.  “They brought them in the same room in intensive care and put them  together — and they were holding hands in ICU.  They were not really  responsive,” said Dennis Yeager.

Gordon died at 3:38 p.m. holding hands with his wife as the family they  built surrounded them.

“It was really strange, they were holding hands, and dad stopped  breathing but I couldn’t figure out what was going on because the heart monitor  was still going,” said Dennis Yeager.  “But we were like, he isn’t breathing.   How does he still have a heart beat?  The nurse checked and said that’s because  they were holding hands and it’s going through them.  Her heart was beating  through him and picking it up.”

“They were still getting her heartbeat through him,” said Donna Sheets.

At 4:38 p.m., exactly one hour after Gordon died, Norma passed too.  “Neither one of them would’ve wanted to be without each other.  I  couldn’t figure out how it was going to work,” said Donna Sheets.  “We were very  blessed, honestly, that they went this way.”

“They just loved being together,” said Dennis Yeager.