New York couple together 81 years dies days apart during Valentine's Day week

Kristin Thorne Image
Tuesday, February 19, 2019
Long Island couple together 81 years dies days apart during Valentine's Day week
Kristin Thorne has the story from Mattituck.

MATTITUCK, Long Island -- If you ever saw Joseph and Christine Haeg of Mattituck together, they most likely were holding hands.

"Yep, that was their thing," said their daughter Mary Jo Haeg. "I never my whole life heard them raise their voice to another. They were truly, truly in love."

Haeg told Eyewitness News reporter Kristin Thorne that last week her parents, who had been together 81 years, died only days apart. The two had been hospitalized at Peconic Bay Medical Center where nurses put the couple in the same room and pushed the beds together so they could hold hands.

"They were the buzz of the hospital, mom and dad. Everyone was talking about them," Haeg said.

Haeg said on Feb. 10, her 97-year-old father said he wanted to go to the hospital because that was the day he was going to die.

"We all have to go sometime and I want to go today," Haeg recounted her father telling her.

Haeg said her 98-year-old mother had been complaining she was having trouble breathing and wanted go to to the hospital as well, adding if they were going to die, she wanted to die first. Haeg arranged for two ambulances to transport her parents to the hospital from their assisted living facility.

Haeg said after arriving at the hospital, her mother was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Haeg said her mother never had previous heart problems. The couple was admitted.

On Monday night, Christine Haeg died holding her husband's hand.

"Even that night before mom passed, they were back and forth, 'I love you, I love you,'" Haeg said.

Joseph Haeg's health began to deteriorate in the hours that followed. He died in the early morning hours of Thursday -- Valentine's Day.

"I think that was his, 'Here I come honey. Here I am for Valentine's Day,'" Haeg said.

Haeg said her parents had never been apart since the day they first met as teenagers at a church dance. They were married a few years later just before Joseph Haeg was deployed to fight in World War II.

"I prayed for years, when it's their time to go, please take them together. I didn't want either one of them to have that broken heart," Haeg said.

Haeg said the couple was cremated together and will be buried together at Calverton National Cemetery on April 5, which would have been their 77th wedding anniversary. Haeg also pointed out her parents died 54 hours apart, which if you reverse is 45, also their anniversary date.


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