Many people wish they could have romances like the ones that have been played on the big screens of Hollywood. Little do they know that keeping a relationship takes a lot of hard work and tolerance from both individuals involved and that is something the box offices don’t show. This is the reason why relationships like that of Isabell and Preble Staver are hard to come by in this era.
The couple went on a blind date with each other in 1942 and they instantly felt a connection. They fell deeply in love with one another and knew they wanted to start a life together but their plans had to be postponed due to the threat of WWII. Both Isabell and Preble contributed to the war efforts. Preble was part of the Marine Corp and Isabell served as a nurse in the navy.
After the war was over, the couple got married and started their long life together in which they had five children.
Preble transitioned several times in his career while Isabell served as the backbone of the family structure. They suffered the tragic loss of their son Peter when he died on the field playing football in high school, and worked to overcome their grief together.
Their daughter Laurie Clinton told People magazine, “They were great people. Mom really taught me that you can’t change another person but you can change your attitude towards them. Dad was a bit of a prickly pear! Dad was the strict one.”
In 2013, they moved into a long-term care facility in Virginia as Isabell was diagnosed with dementia. Her declining memory and thinking skills frustrated Preble because he refused to come to terms with his wife’s condition.
On Preble’s 96th birthday, he had only one request and that was to lay with his wife on the same bed for a few hours. Laurie recalled the couple did not say a word to each other and simply held hands and fell asleep.
Isabell’s condition worsened and a few days after Preble’s birthday, she passed away peacefully. Remarkably, Preble followed suite and breathed his last breath 14 hours after his wife’s passing.
Laurie recalled that day, “He held her hand, and it was just so tender. I asked him if he wanted to stay after the prayers, and he shook his head. I said, ‘Okay, but you know that means you’re going to have to let go of her hand?’ I was crying, and he was crying.”
She also let out the secret as to how her parents remained married to each other for over 70 years. She said, “Mom and dad really lived out that, if you make a commitment, and even though life gets rough or life gets in the way, you work through life, and you live your life together.”