The wedding vows say til death do us part. But that wasn't good enough for J.C. and Josie Cox.
J.C. and Josie Cox got married on Christmas Day, 1932. It wasn’t the most convenient time for a wedding, and they had some trouble getting someone to officiate the ceremony: “They went up to a pastor’s door and knocked on the door,” Lesha Grimm, one of the Coxs’ granddaughters, told WFAA. “He didn’t marry them, so they went to another pastor’s house.”
Nonetheless, the young couple was determined to be together –and so they remained, inseparable through thick and thin, for 75 years.
The couple followed their impulsive wedding ceremony with a honeymoon trip to deliver a load of chickens to a farm. Though their relationship wasn’t always the height of romance, their bond was awe-inspiring: The couple went through all of life’s ups and downs together, living in the same two-bedroom house in Fort Worth, Texas, for over 50 years.
As J.C. and Josie grew older, their health began to suffer. Josie was losing her sight, and J.C. “couldn’t hear real well,” said Grimm. Luckily, J.C.‘s deafness didn’t cause much trouble for the couple: “He didn’t talk much anyway,” said Marla Williamson, another of the Cox’s granddaughters. “His way of socializing with you was to share Dr Pepper.”
When the aging couple entered a nursing home together last month, Josie insisted on caring for her husband just as she always had, despite her limitations. Religiously, she ironed his pants and shirts for him every day, so that he could dress the way he liked.
“She was going to make sure - even though he never went anywhere - his clothes were going to be starched,” said Grimm.
Last week, J.C. died of complications from pneumonia. Josie lay in bed beside him, holding his hand as he slipped away.
Josie herself suffered from heart problems, and days earlier, doctors had said she didn’t have long to live. It seemed like her beloved husband’s death was too much for her to take: For five hours after his death, she lay in her bed, grieving and unable to move. Her grandchildren surrounded her.
“You know, Grannie, we’re going to be OK,” Williamson whispered in her ear. “Paw and your children are waiting for you. It’s OK. You can leave.” Moments later, Josie closed her eyes for the last time.
“When he passed away he didn’t say a lot, but he went and she went with him,” Grimm told The Star-Telegram.
“To me, he was saying to her, ‘C’mon, let’s go.’”