Couple dies within day of each other after nearly 70 years of marriage

SANDUSKY, Ohio -- Paul Fitz was a senior at Margaretta High School when his children say a young sophomore caught his eye.

His family says while in a huddle with basketball teammates the players would talk about girls, and one in particular who Fitz decided to call his own.

"My dad didn't want to lose her to some other basketball player so he decided he was going to get engaged to her," said Lori Fitz-Arnold.

"He proposed to her on his prom night and he sat in the car and the young grandchildren said, 'grandpa, that's scandalous,'" said another daughter, Mary Jo Fitz-Frasca.

Agnes Kromer finished high school and the couple was married in 1950.

Since that time, their relatives describe them as inseparable.

"They never fought, never argued. I only remember one argument in their whole life and that's when mom wanted to go to work," said Paul Fitz, one of four sons.

"They were always together holding hands, kissing, you know, and they loved their family," said Mary Jo.

The couple had nine kids in twelve years.

Paul worked the family's dairy farm while Agnes helped raise their children.

"He was an incredibly hardworking man, sometimes working three jobs to support us. He built the house we lived in," said Diane Fitz-Keegan, another of the couple's five daughters.

"The sacrifices were immense, but the rewards were even more and they did make marriage seem so easy," she added.

"They loved their grandchildren and great grandchildren; their whole life was based on that," said Karen Fitz-Eckert.

Family members say through their faith-driven life they led by example.

"They were excellent role models. He showed us how to work, worked right beside us just as hard as we did at all times," said Edward Fitz.

"She was the quiet one in the background keeping us all together and dad was out working a couple jobs at a time. It was such a good lesson in life," said Mary Jo.

"They were always together and, like we said, never separated for 70 years that's why it was so hard on him when she was in the hospital," said Mary Jo.

Relatives say Paul always expected that he would go first, but it was Agnes who passed away on Friday at the age of 86 .

"My dad wasn't going to let her be alone; I can tell you that," said Edward.

Thirty-six hours and 31 minutes later, Paul took his final breath.

"My sister said it right.  We are all good here; you go ahead and take care of mom and we will be fine, and that was probably his last breath and it was incredibly touching," said Edward.

"I think my dad died of a broken heart because, you know, he knew his wife was going to pass away and he kind of gave up because he didn't want to live any longer after she was gone," said Dave Fitz.

Relatives describe their legacy as a love story for the ages.

"They were happy," said Mary Jo. "I'm sure they are dancing in heaven."