Couple married 75 years dies in each other's arms

SAN DIEGO - A San Diego couple married for 75 years told their children they wished to die in each other's arms, so when it was time, the couple's wish was fulfilled.

Jeanette and Alexander Toczko hated being apart from one another. According to their son, Richard, "They were boyfriend and girlfriend when they were 8 years old."

"My dad carried around a picture of my mother in her Holy Communion outfit in his wallet," added daughter Aimee Toczko-Cushman.

The Toczkos' children said their parents lived a life-long love affair.

"Their hearts beat as one from as long as I can remember," said Toczko-Cushman.

Married in 1940, the couple moved to San Diego in the early 1970s.

Alexander found another love -- golf.

"He would be waiting in the chair with his putter," said Toczko.

Alexander played every day at Balboa Golf Course until recently.

"He must have fallen. He broke his hip," said Toczko. His health took a turn for the worse, and Toczko said, "He was going fast."

His children remembered something their parents always used to say: "They said they wanted to go in their own bed holding hands and in each other's arms," said Toczko.

Hospice brought a bed into their home and set it up right next to his beloved wife's.

"She kept asking us, 'What is today, what is today?' We said it was June. She said it's June 29th, and June 29th is their 75th wedding anniversary," said Toczko-Cushman.

The family went along with it, buying balloons and flowers to celebrate -- in bed.

"And we said happy anniversary, and my mother was thrilled to death because it was their anniversary and she knew that he was going and that they had made it to 75 years," said Toczko-Cushman.

The family left, leaving the couple to share their final moments together.

"Even the hospice nurse said it was the most incredible thing to see the two of them taking those last breaths together," Toczko-Cushman said.

"I knew she wasn't go to last too much longer," Toczko said.

"And he died in her arms, which is exactly what he wanted. I went in there and told my mother he was gone; she hugged him and she said, 'See this is what you wanted. You died in my arms and I love you. I love you, wait for me, I'll be there soon,'" said Toczko-Cushman.

"It was tough," said Toczko.

About 24 hours later, it became time for Jeanette to join her husband.

"They both entered the pearly gates holding hands," said Toczko.

The Toczkos were buried Monday morning at Miramar National Cemetery.

Alexander Toczko was a World War II veteran.

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