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Spanish Fork couple die hours apart after full life together

(Alan Neves)

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SPANISH FORK — A Spanish Fork couple passed away within hours of each other Thursday at their home. Their kids said it was because they couldn't stand to be apart.

The story of Jerry and Edith Dunn has many elements of a Hollywood love story. The couple met in high school and were together from that moment on — 63 years.

"Mom and dad were just always together," said one of the Dunn's twin sons, Donald Dunn.

Jerry served in the U.S. Army for 26 years, and then later spent many years working as a postman in Spanish Fork.

"He worried about her, she worried about him," Donald said of his parents.

Edith eventually began suffering from dementia and diabetes, and Jerry would wake up at 5 a.m. to take her to dialysis three times a week.

"He had promised her he would take care of her and that he would never put her in a care facility," said the Dunn's daughter, Deanna Golden.

Jerry, 82, had a bad fall last week, and his son said it took a toll on his stubborn resolve.

"He was sitting over there in the chair and he said, 'I'm done, Donny. Is that Ok?' " Donald said. " 'I'm throwing in the sponge' as he put it."

Then, early Thursday morning, with his daughter at his bedside, Jerry passed away.

"I think he passed simply and quietly just like he lived his life, just like he wanted to," Deanna said.

Deanna said when they broke the news to their mother, they could tell she registered the information despite her dementia.

"Her eyes darted open and she became uncomfortable and agitated," Deanna said.

They couldn't be separated. And Mom needed Dad there first.

–Deanna Golden, daughter

"We knew Dad would get her and he did," Donald said.

Edith passed away nine hours after Jerry had.

"They couldn't be separated," Deanna said. "And Mom needed Dad there first."

The Dunn's children went through their parent's possessions left behind on Monday.

"Dad gave us such a love of our country and the flag," Deanna said.

The Dunn children lowered their family flag one last time Monday afternoon.

"So much comfort in knowing they went together," Deanna said.

Jerry and Edith were laid to rest next to each other on Friday in a small graveside service in the Spanish Fork Cemetery.


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