Married couple of 77 years die on the same day

Emmy Griffiths

A Kent-based couple who met as teenagers and were married for 77 years passed away just hours apart from each other. Frank and Joyce Dodd, aged 97 and 96, were in the same hospital, and staff moved their beds together to let them be with each other. Frank and Joyce are survived by five children, 12 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

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Frank was admitted after suffering from heart failure before his death, and Joyce visited every day until she fell ill herself. Their daughter Angela spoke about how the staff at the Darent Valley Hospital arranged for the couple to be together in their last hours, telling Kent Online: "The staff were excellent. They had mum upstairs and dad downstairs and they asked us if we would like them to bring their beds together. They brought dad upstairs so they could lay and hold hands. The staff on Redwood ward went above and beyond anything we could have hoped for, it was really special."

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A statement from the family read: "Joyce and Frank enjoyed 77 happy years of marriage and in later years, as their health declined, they still looked after each other and were together until the very end." The couple will have a joint funeral, which will take place on 15 May. Their family have asked for donations be made to Cancer Research and the British Heart Foundation.