WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 22, 2014, 08:27 PM

Couple married for almost 70 years die just days apart

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - When Carl and Evelyn Ekern quietly got married after the war, they found random people to stand-in as witnesses.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - When Carl and Evelyn Ekern quietly got married after the war, they found random people to stand-in as witnesses.

The two sweethearts would go on to raise a family in Fargo, work hard together, play hard together, and in the end, die together.

The couple will be remembered at a funeral here in Fargo, later this week.

The two passed away, just days apart.

It sure seemed like a Hollywood love affair. Carl Ekern, A sailor from Fargo, in the South Pacific, World War Two and Evelyn Britt, a beautiful North Carolina girl. The two dated just days before deciding to marry, April of 46.

Laura Lougheed/ Daughter: “They had no idea who their witnesses were, dad had his commanding officer stood up and grabbed random people because it was after the war.”

They came back to Fargo, settled down, raised a family of three. Carl would go work for Mid America Steel for years, the former NDSU golfer would travel the world with his wife Evelyn and golf the great courses.

As they reached their Golden Years, it would be Carl who would battle Alzheimers, and so it came as a shock when just days ago...

Lougheed: “She wasn't feeling good, thought she had a bug.”

It was Evelyn whose health faded quickly.

Lougheed: “And I took her to the emergency room and she never recovered.”

And something amazing happened.

Linda Ekern/ Daughter: “I think I knew it was coming, but I thought it would go the other way, I thought Dad first then mom.”

Evelyn would spend an evening laughing with her children at the hospital, but pass away the next morning. Her husband Carl, would live just 6 days before he died.

Lougheed: “When I took her to the ER on Wednesday, Dad stopped eating.”

The three children say this is what their mother planned all along.

Lougheed: “Sunday Mom passed and I got a call from Hospice an hour later that Dad had entered Hospice.”

That gift of being in love for 68 years strong as iron and now,forever together.

Lougheed: “They seemed to know, mom always said she wanted to pass before dad.

And tonight, the two of them. The twin daughters know exactly what is going on in heaven.

Ekern: “Dancing. That what we told her, go have a last dance.”

When they said "I do" after the war, neither knew what path life would take them down, but in the end, it didn't matter, they couldn't live without each other.

The funeral for the Ekern is Friday afternoon at one at Hanson-Runsvold.