Lifetime love has just been redefined. Don and Maxine Simpson's love story is something out of the pages of novel — namely, Nicholas Sparks's The Notebook. But unlike Noah and Allie, the story of these two lifelong sweethearts is entirely real. The Bakersfield, CA couple was married for nearly 62 years and died within four hours of each other.
The pair, who met at a bowling alley, spent their lives together raising two boys, traveling the world, and volunteering their time to local charities. According to ABC News, Don fell and broke his hip at home and was taken to the hospital where his health quickly started to decline. At the same time, Maxine, who had been battling cancer for years, took a turn for the worse.
Their granddaughter, Melissa Sloan, converted her spare bedroom to accommodate their two hospital beds. "Gram woke up and saw him, and held hands and they knew that they were next to each other," she tells ABC. "I knew in my heart this is what's supposed to happen."
In family photos taken towards the end of their time together, the couple smiled and held hands from their opposite beds. "All Don wanted was to be with his beautiful wife. He adored my grandmother, loved her to the end of the Earth," she said.
And ultimately, Don chose to be with his wife forever. Maxine passed away first, with Don quickly behind her. "I walked them out with her body, walked back in to check on grandpa and he quit breathing as soon as her body left the room. He left with her, and they passed four hours apart from each other," she says.