Couple Married For 71 Years Die Within Four Minutes Of Each Other

Leicester Mercury

A couple who were married for 71 years died within four minutes of each other – although the elderly husband and wife were three miles apart.

Wilf Russell, 93, passed away in a Leicestershire care home at 6.50pm. Four minutes later, his wife of 71 years, Vera Russell died at the age of 91 in Leicester Royal Infirmary, a hospital just three miles away.

Their granddaughter, Stephanie Welch, told the Leicester Mercury: “I think she was waiting for him to go. She was broken-hearted.”


Stephanie said:

My grandad was diagnosed with dementia a year ago and he had to go into the care home a couple of months back. My nan went to see him recently and he didn’t recognise her at all – her health started deteriorating from that day.

I went to visit her at Leicester Royal Infirmary on Sunday and she opened her eyes and asked me where Wilf was. The last thing she said to me was: “We’re a right pair, aren’t we?”

He died at 6.50am and she died at 6.54am without being told about Wilf.


Wilf and Vera met when they were just 18 and 16, respectively. They were engaged before Wilf was posted to Italy and North Africa with the RAF during WW2.

‘Family-oriented’ Wilf and Vera leave two sons, five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

The family are planning to hold a joint funeral in Great Glen to celebrate their lives.