“They were meant to go together,” Family remembers couple’s fairy tale love story

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FRESNO, Calif. - The love story of a California couple is being remembered as a real-life version of "The Notebook."

Married for 67 years, the devoted couple died within hours of each other this month.

In the early 1940s, Floyd Hartwig was a World War II sailor fighting in the Pacific.

For six years, he and his sweetheart, Violet, kept in touch by mail.

"There are 130 letters. The first one was in 1946 when they started writing," said Donna Scharton, the couple's oldest daughter.

"Need your arms around me darling, hope it will be soon honey. All my love darling, and take care of yourself. Love you, love you and shall always love you only honey for as long as I live," one of the letters read.

The Hartwigs got married in 1947.

Floyd worked at a feed company and delivered eggs.

He called her Vi; she called him Blondie.

For 67 years, they were together and raised a family.

"They were very supportive parents," she said.

At 90-years-old, Floyd suffered kidney failure.

At 89-years-old, Violet was battling dementia.

However, they never forgot about their love for one another.

"My dad was using his cane and short of breath, but he kept helping her, wanting to help her," she said.

On Feb. 11, family members knew the elderly couple wouldn't get any better.

"When we could see it was really getting close, we pushed their hospital beds together and moved them over so they could hold hands. And my dad died holding my mom's hand. And my mom died five hours later," she said. "They were meant to go together."

"At the funeral home, there were two caskets. And my brother and I were standing together and we just said, 'It was meant to be. That's the way they were meant to go, together," she said.

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