A beautiful love story ended in bittersweet tragedy when a husband and wife, married for exactly 72 years, passed away within hours of each other.
The Cherrys married in January 1942 in Muldoon, Texas.
They were high school sweethearts and their marriage was blessed with a deep love.
Their only grandson, Craig Cherry, said their love was the strongest he has ever witnessed.
He told CNN, “The two were always smiling and always deeply in love.”
At 95-years-old, Leonard was placed in the St. Catherine Center in Waco and Hazel, 93, moved to The Village at Providence Park, a nursing home next door to the hospice center.
She was perfectly healthy and spent each day at his side through his suffering.
Their son, David Cherry, shared: “Mother had been driving around town and still going to the grocery store as recently as two weeks ago, but Dad’s health had been failing for some years.”
Leonard passed away at 1p.m. on Thursday, October 27 and Hazel passed away at 11p.m.
Doctors were puzzled as she was a healthy woman but David expressed both pain and relief.
“It’s kind of hard you know, you can’t pick up the phone and call them anymore, or call mother and can’t go by and see Dad,” David explained.
“The more I begin to think about it, I begin to smile because of how much they loved each other.”
The couple shared a wonderful life together, separated only when Leonard became a B-24 bomber pilot after enlisting in the Army Air Corps when WWII began.
When the war ended, Leonard worked in Fort Worth as an auto body repair man and later owned his own repair business he operated with Hazel by his side until 1980, when they decided to move to Woodway to remain closer to David and Craig.
The couple will share a memorial service, which is scheduled Friday.
By Kenya Sinclair