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Married couple's tragedy

PUBLISHED: 10:50 06 March 2002 | UPDATED: 11:29 03 March 2010

A COUPLE married for nearly 50 years have tragically died together at their home after the husband suffered a suspected heart attack and collapsed on his wife.

A COUPLE married for nearly 50 years have tragically died together at their home after the husband suffered a suspected heart attack and collapsed on his wife.

Dr Patrick Michael Youngman, 76, and wife Elizabeth Anne, 84, were found dead in the sitting room of their Framlingham home the following day when neighbours raised the alarm after becoming concerned about them.

Tributes have been paid to the couple, known as Michael and Anne, who were devoted to each other and both suffered from ill health.

Before retiring to Suffolk, Dr Youngman had worked as prominent anaesthetist in London, and Mrs Youngman was a fashion editor with Country Life magazine.

It is thought the double tragedy happened last Tuesday night and the pair were found the next day when friends arrived at the house and alerted police.

Mrs Youngman's brother, John Price, said: "Dr Youngman must have got up from his fireside and had a heart attack and my sister Anne must have rushed towards him.

"She was very frail and not very well and he fell towards her and on top of her. This is the tragedy of it that they both died as a result.

"They were both rather ill. It's very sad when you think about it. It's almost unbelievable."

Mrs Youngman, whose professional name was Anne Price, was born and raised in London. Her father was a shipping agent and later worked in insurance.

For a short while in her youth, she was a professional actress and went on to become an assistant to a film producer.

During the war, she worked for the Ministry of Information, and then for about 20 years, during the 60s and 70s, she was fashion editor for Country Life magazine.

"She was clever, intelligent and she was a beautiful young woman," said Mr Price, who lives in Hereford.

Her husband, born in Ipswich to a Suffolk family, was an eminent anaesthetist, who was well known in his field.

Dr Youngman worked as a senior consultant at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in London, and did a considerable amount of voluntary work for St Luke's Hospital.

The couple, who were married for nearly 50 years, had no children and for a while they lived out in Bahrain.

They kept a holiday home in Sweffling, which later became their retirement home, but as they got older they decided to find a place which was easier to run and moved to Framlingham.

Anthony Hubbard, the couple's executor, who has known the pair for 15 years and built up a friendship with them, said he had been "shocked" and "saddened" by the tragic news.

An inquest into the deaths was opened at Southwold last week, and adjourned until March 27.

A service will take place at St Michael's Church, Framlingham, next Tuesday, at 10.30am.


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