High school sweethearts and husband and wife of 75 years Helen and Les Brown of Long Beach, California, died within one day of each other earlier this month. They were both 94.
Les had been long suffering from Parkinson├óΓé¼Γäós disease and Helen was dealing with stomach cancer. Helen was expected to live a few more months, but died on July 16. Les, who had recently fallen into a coma and was not aware of his wife├óΓé¼Γäós passing, died the next day.
While Les and Helen├óΓé¼Γäós deaths coming in such quick succession may be difficult on their family, their synchronicity was nothing new. The two even shared a birthday. Their son, Les Jr., says:
├óΓé¼┼ôThey really enjoyed each other├óΓé¼Γäós company. They were really inseparable and were never apart.├óΓé¼┬¥
In high school, neither of their families anticipated the relationship would last, much less turn into a three-quarters-of-a-century marriage, because of their different socioeconomic backgrounds. Les├óΓé¼Γäós father was a successful businessman in Southern California; Helen├óΓé¼Γäós father worked on the railroad. Says Les Jr.:
├óΓé¼┼ô[Love] knows no barriers and seems to know no bounds. They were from different sides of the tracks and it didn├óΓé¼Γäót seem to matter to them. After 78 years, they were very much in love.├óΓé¼┬¥
Helen and Les eloped; Les became a photographer, and Helen a housewife with real estate acumen. The couple raised their sons, and through the decades enjoyed being grandparents and great-grandparents.
According to those who knew them well, they worked on their marriage and were deeply committed to one another and the bond they shared. Owner of Long Beach store Ma N├óΓé¼ΓäóPa Grocery Zach Henderson saw the Browns almost daily. He said:
├óΓé¼┼ôAbout a year ago, [Helen] had her hand on his face and they were cheek to cheek. She said, ├óΓé¼╦£Isn├óΓé¼Γäót he the most handsome man you├óΓé¼Γäóve ever seen?├óΓé¼Γäó That├óΓé¼Γäós exactly how they were. They were full of love and passion.├óΓé¼┬¥
Our thoughts and support go out to the Brown family at this difficult time.
[Images via Daniel Brown/Today.]