Last month, Earle decided to go off dialysis. Doctors gave him three weeks to live. Lou Nell’s health was so bad she was set to move into a nursing home on Friday.
So last Wednesday, Leeder decided to pay a visit to the couple, who were under hospice care at their apartment at North Woods Village. He read scripture, and offered what would be the couple’s final communion service.
During that time, Earle shared he was ready to die, but he had one concern — leaving Lou Nell alone.
“He said, ‘I don’t know how she’ll manage, and I don’t want to leave her. I don’t know what to do.’”
So Leeder suggested praying God would allow Earle to pass away at the same time as his wife.
“He said, ‘Pastor, how perfect that would be.’”
The next day — Valentine’s Day — the couple’s only daughter, Julie, decided to spend the evening with her parents.
“Their final night was truly a love story,” she said.
Earle said Thursday night he’d like a strawberry milkshake to share with Lou Nell, so Julie went and picked one up. Throughout the evening, they simply talked, watched TV and finally went to bed.
On Friday morning, Julie walked into the bedroom to wake up her parents. Lou Nell was planning on leaving that day for the nursing home.
But when she entered the bedroom, Julie said she had to stand in the doorway in amazement. Lou Nell was laying in the bed on her left side, and Earle lay on his right.
“Their heads where touching, almost as if they were in the shape of a heart,” she said “They looked so content.”
Julie woke up Earle, who got up and dressed, but Lou Nell wouldn’t wake up. She was in some kind of comatose state.