A New Zealand couple who were inseparable during their 54 years of marriage died within hours of each other last week after battling separate cancers. Robert Stickland, 78, died ‘from a broken heart’ on Friday after learning that his wife Yvonne, 73, had succumbed to an aggressive tumour.
Russell, one of the couple’s four children, told Daily Mail Australia his loving parents, who had rarely been apart since they met in 1961, simply wanted to be together.
‘He sobbed ‘Oh no, oh no!, Russell said of the moment his sister, Kathleen, broke the news to their father. ‘We managed to get him into his wheelchair and take him to her bedside where he kissed her forehead and then her lips.’
After saying his goodbyes and heading to Middlemore Hospital for a medical assessment of his own failing health – stemming from lung and liver cancer – Robert ‘passed eight hours later from a broken heart,’ Russell said.
‘He just wanted to be with our mum.’
They had four children – two daughters and two sons…