The two of them married each other after serving in the war together, and the veterans had so much love, that they just could not live or die without each other.
True love is rare, but it does exist. In today's time, most of us aren't patient enough to put in the kind of effort that it takes to keep a marriage going, let alone a relationship. It takes a lot of effort and it does not come easy. As they say, nothing worth having comes easy, but people seem to be quick to give up on people at the blink of an eye. Honestly, in this era, it seems like people are missing out on a lot of things that happened differently generations ago, and it's a shame to miss out on true love because of impatience. So, this is why you need to know about the story of two lovebirds who served in WWII together. The two of them married each other after serving in the war together, and the veterans had so much love, that they just could not live without each other. In November 2017, the two of them passed away within hours of each other after sharing one last nap together just days before they departed, reveals People. Isabell Whitney and Preble Staver had to put their love story on hold when the United States entered World War II.
Whitney and Staver met during a blind date in Philadelphia, which happened before they signed up to help the Allies. Isabell volunteered as a nurse in the Navy stationed in Maryland and Preble as a Marine, and he also earned a Bronze Star during his tenure. Five months after the war, Whitney and Staver reunited, and they got married on February 15, 1946. Little did they know that their marriage would be the start to a more than 70-year-long union! “They were great people. Mom really taught me that you can’t change another person but you can change your attitude towards them. Dad was a bit of a prickly pear!” Laurie Staver Clinton, 62, one of the couple’s five children, said. “Dad was the strict one. Mom tried to be strict, but we knew what we could get away with her. It was pretty much a father rules the roost sort of thing.”
Whitney and Staver remained busy during their marriage, raising their five children, and with moving from city to city for Staver's work as a lobbyist and banker. All was well for the happy family. Then, in 1975, tragedy struck the family while they were living in Naples, Florida. The couple’s son, Peter, died playing football during the last game of his senior year of high school. “At that point, we began to really see a softer side of my dad. Parents aren’t supposed to bury their kids, and that really took a toll on my folks, but it also brought them together,” Staver Clinton says.
“Something like that can either tear a couple apart, but they made a pact to get through it together. They really were each other’s support team,” added Clinton. Years went by, and they stuck together, briefly moving to Bluffton, South Carolina, where they lived on a golf course, which was Preble Staver's dream, before finally moving to Virginia to be close to family members as they got older. “They just had a ball. It was just so much fun,” Staver Clinton, of Norfolk, Virginia, recalls. “They really enjoyed each other’s company. It was just fun to see them, and they made a nice little life for themselves.”
Isabell soon started showing signs of Dementia, and the family decided that it would be best to move her into a long-term care facility in Norfolk in 2013. But, the stress that came with watching his beloved wife give into the disease resulted in a very frustrated Preble to be moved into a different room in the building. But Staver Clinton said that her mother understood that even though Preble was having a hard time coping with her disease, it didn’t mean he had lost even a little bit of his feelings for her.
“They just found another way to express their love. Dad, even after he stopped walking and was in a wheelchair, he would wheel himself down to the Memory Care Unit and go visit mom,” Staver Clinton says. “When I would reunite them, they always, the first thing they’d do was put their hands out and hold each other’s hand and tell each other they loved each other.” Isabella's Dementia was getting worse, and she'd find herself constantly stopping herself mid-sentence, and thinking about how she's already spoken about it. But even though it all, she never forgot what her husband meant to her.
“Sometimes we’d have to tell her to focus and look,” Staver Clinton explains, “but when she looked and knew it was dad, she’d get that little smile.” When Preble's 96th birthday approached, he told Staver that he would like one more nap with his wife, so she made all the necessary arrangements with the staff there to make it happen. The couple then got a chance to lay beside each other for more than three months, which is something they haven't had the chance to do so since they were moved into separate rooms. “There was not a single word spoken between the two of them. They held hands and just fell asleep,” she says. “I told dad, ‘This is mom’s birthday present for you.’ He was just so happy that he got to take his nap with her.”
But Preble had more surprises in store, and when he was taken to his wife's room, Isabell unexpectedly started to sing “Happy Birthday.” “I heard this little warbly voice, and I realize, oh my gosh, mom’s singing, and she sang the song twice,” Staver Clinton says. “She didn’t miss a word.” A few days after the birthday celebrations, Staver Clinton was informed by the staff there that her mom was approaching her final moments. She rushed to the facility and brought Preble to Isabell’s room to say a final goodbye.
“He held her hand, and it was just so tender. I asked him if he wanted to stay after the prayers, and he shook his head,” Staver Clinton says through tears. “I said, ‘Okay, but you know that means you’re going to have to let go of her hand?’ I was crying, and he was crying.” But then the moment came when Clinton had to wheel her father away! “He very gingerly let go as I was pulling his wheelchair away from her bed, and then he took the cover and covered her hand back,” she says. “It just about broke my heart because that was a tender side of my dad I wasn’t used to seeing, and I wasn’t used to him being so gentle.”
Preble and Isabell were born just 14 days apart. And, just 14 hours after Isabell’s death on October 25, almost the midway point between their two birthdays, Preble passed away. Staver Clinton says that her parents and their love will always remain close to her heart. “Mom and dad really lived out that, if you make a commitment, and even though life gets rough or life gets in the way, you work through life,” she says, “and you live your life together.”