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Local couple dies a few hours apart after 70 years of marriage

James Walter, 97, and Rachel Holcomb, 89, of Elkin, share a kiss about a month before they died. (Contributed photo via The Winston-Salem Journal)

ELKIN, N.C. — After learning her husband of 70 years had died, Rachel Holcomb told a nurse: “My husband passed away today, but it’s all going to be OK,” according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

A few hours later, she died peacefully in her sleep.

“To have spent 70 years married and then to die so close together, I thought it was beautiful,” said their daughter, Jewell Park.

It was a tale of love only Nicholas Sparks could’ve concocted, as James, 97, and Rachel Holcomb, 89, of Elkin, who spent most of their lives together, died about 12 hours apart on July 26 and 27.

They hadn’t seen each other in a week as Rachel was being treated for pneumonia at Chatham Rehabilitation Center in Elkin and James, who had dementia, was at home with family.

Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal