Couple married for 65 years both die of cancer within hours of each other

Couple celebrated landmark wedding anniversary just two days before deaths

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An elderly couple who were married for 65 years have died of cancer on the same day, just hours apart from each other.

Ferdinando and Mary Acerra, aged 89 and 86 respectively, both died two days after they celebrated their wedding anniversary with family and friends.

In 1951 the couple met in a small town near the city of Naples, where Mr Acerra was a tank commander with the Italian army and his future wife was enjoying a holiday, and they moved to live in Stormville in New York state during their later lives.

Mrs Acerra died in her sleep from intestinal cancer, and three hours later her husband succumbed to bladder cancer during a stay in hospital.

In addition to her cancer Mrs Acerra suffered from the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, meaning the couple spent a great deal of time apart in the months leading up to their deaths.

Their granddaughter Alexis said of the couple: “They are my best friends.” As Mrs Acerra lay dying, her son Gaetano heard her whisper, “let’s go, Freddy”, referring to a nickname she called her husband according to USA Today.

In early November, nonagenarian couple Leonard and Hazel Cherry from Texas both died within the space of a few hours, having been married for 74 years.

In August, another elderly couple who were married for over 60 years died less than half an hour apart in the same room, and held hands with each other through their final minutes.