Massive turnout for couple who died together after 64 years living together
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Massive turnout for couple who died together after 64 years living together

Family photo
Family photo

The parish church of Zonderschot in Heist-op-den-Berg in Flemish Brabant province was filled to capacity on Saturday for the funeral of Jos Claes and Gusta Scoovaerts, a local couple long occupied in the volunteer life of the town. The pair were both aged 89, and had been married for 64 years. Both died of natural causes, but what has baffled doctors is that the couple died within minutes of each other on 13 December, lying side by side in their own bed, surrounded by close family.

Doctors described the deathbed scene as “unprecedented,” although there was no suspicion of anything untoward. “There can be no better way of dying,” said son Willem.

“Dad must have looked at Mum and thought to himself, I’m going with her. They didn’t even have the strength to take each other’s hand, but still they went together,” he said.

In a eulogy read at the funeral, he also described the couple’s full social life in the village, working with the local Chiro group, the charity 11.11.11 and the annual village fair among other activities. Gusta was also mother of eight children, and acted, he said, as the town psychologist.

“At last you are in heaven,” Willem wrote. “For a long time you wondered which of you would arrive first. Well, St. Peter arranged a double voyage for you both.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

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