Every love story is beautiful in its own way, but there are some that truly take our breath away.
Such was the love shared between Malcom and Betty Clynch.
The pair got married in 1945 when they were still teenagers. Shortly after, Malcom, who was in the Army, was sent to help guard the Los Alamos laboratories in New Mexico while Betty stayed home in Fort Worth, Texas.
Separated for their first anniversary, Malcom wrote a sweet letter to Betty that the family still has.
“Dearest Betty,” he wrote. “Today doesn’t seem very much like an anniversary, just because one person isn’t here. Honey, I’d give anything just to be with you for today. It just doesn’t seem right for us to be so far apart.”
They may have missed celebrating their first anniversary together, but they were never apart for the 71 anniversaries that followed.
“You could tell that they were in love, I always thought they never do anything apart,” said their granddaughter, Jana Elliot Engle. “That’s something that struck me as different. They always did everything together.”
The couple’s daughter-in-law, Marva Clynch, also commented on their special, comfortable kind of love.
“She could talk to anybody and know their life story in a minute. And he was the same way,” she said. “But they just enjoyed being together.”
Malcom worked as a bricklayer and Fort Worth ISD maintenance foreman and was a member of the Masons and the Shrine. Betty worked for Bell Helicopter for 35 years. Together they raised two children and eventually welcomed four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
As the years passed, though, the couple’s health began to decline. Malcom had a heart problem and Betty developed Alzheimer’s.
Jana says she thinks her grandfather knew Betty’s time was coming to an end, but he also knew she wouldn’t want to go without him.
“And I don’t think my grandmother was going to go anywhere without my grandfather,” she said. “I think he knew my grandmother was going, and he had to go first.”
As the couple lay close together at their assisted living facility in Fort Worth, Malcom quietly passed away. Just 10 hours later, Betty followed.
Jana says she believes Malcom went first so he could show Betty the way.
On Monday, the grieving family held a joint funeral for the couple who could not be separated, even in death.
While the family is heartbroken to have to say goodbye, they know Malcom and Betty left this world just as they would have wanted – together.
As Jana went through her grandparents’ love letters, she noticed that Malcom always ended them the same way:
“I’ll always love only you.”
“It tells me how much he loved Granny, how much Granny loved him. They didn’t really want to be apart,” she said.
And now, they never will be again.
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