A devoted couple who were married for 56 years have died within minutes of each other.
Donald and Rosemary Dix were described by one of their daughters as “inseparable”.
And neither of them knew that the other had passed away.
The couple’s daughters yesterday described the shock of losing both parents at the same time: “Their deaths are so unexpected”, said younger daughter Jacqueline, 46.
Mrs Dix had called Jacqueline to say that her father had collapsed and she should come.
But when Miss Dix reached the hospital, her father had already passed away.
She had phoned her mother on the way to the hospital, but the line was engaged.
“I assumed she was on the phone to my sister”, she said.
On arriving at the hospital, she discovered that her mother was not there.
“I returned to the family home”, Miss Dix continued, “and that’s when I saw my mum lying on the floor. The phone was off the receiver.”
Despite the tragedy of losing both parents on the same day, she said she and her sister Deryl, 49, believed that it was a “mercy” that neither parent had been aware that the other had died.
“My parents were inseparable”, said Deryl. “They did everything together. Now their candles have both gone out together.”
Donald and Rosemary Dix had met at a dance in Nottingham in the 1950s. Mr Dix lived in Cardiff and would travel by train to Cheltenham to meet up with his future wife, because it was mid-way between Nottingham and Cardiff.
Their long-distance courtship lasted eighteen months, before the couple tied the knot in February 1955 in Mrs Dix’s home town of Radcliffe, Nottinghamshire.
They moved to Cardiff to set up home and raised their two daughters there.
A joint funeral service took place at St German’s Church in Splott, Cardiff and the couple were buried together.
“It is a great comfort knowing that they didn’t have to go through the pain of losing one another,” said Deryl.
Jacqueline added: “People saw my parents as a unit – you couldn’t think of one without the other.”
In 2009, the end of another long and happy marriage was reported in the news, when Frank Milford died at the age of 101, after being married to his wife, Anita, for 81 years.
Had he lived another five months, theirs would have been the longest British marriage on record.
The couple had said the secret of their marriage was “a little argument every day” but also “sharing a kiss every night before bed”.