Tributes to inseparable couple

IN life Jack and Helen Hope were inseparable for more than 70 years.Unable to live without each other, they are together once again today after passing away just a few minutes apart, with each not realising the other had died.

IN life Jack and Helen Hope were inseparable for more than 70 years.

Unable to live without each other, they are together once again today after passing away just a few minutes apart, with each not realising the other had died.

The Hopes had been devoted to each other since they met at a village dance in 1930, and the timing of their deaths last week astonished Ipswich Hospital staff.

Their daughter, Angela Pratt, of Nacton, said she believes her father knew his wife was desperately ill and realised he could not go on.

She said: “My mother was unwell and went into hospital on February 25 and was diagnosed with pneumonia.

“I took my father to see her on the Monday, and she didn't open her eyes or speak to him. I think he realised it was her last illness and that made him just give up.

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“He went into hospital on February 28 and died on March 1, and my mother died literally within a few minutes. It was just amazing, and the ward sister said she had never known anything like it.”

For 98-year-old Jack Hope and his 94-year-old wife Helen it was a fitting and touching end to their long lives together.

The pair, who moved in to their daughters house in Nacton 18 months ago, spent most of their married life living in Norfolk.

Mrs Pratt said: “They had been visiting us in Nacton for 40-odd years before they moved here, so there would have been a lot of people in the village who knew them.”

Mr Hope remained mentally alert, but his wife became increasingly forgetful and it was caring for her that kept him going.

They celebrated their platinum wedding last April, and were pleased to receive congratulations from the Queen.

Their final illnesses were very short and Mrs Pratt said their passing away together, at Ipswich Hospital, was a fitting end to a devoted and caring couple.

She praised the hospital staff who she said had been “very understanding”.

Mr and Mrs Hope leave sons John and David, daughter Angela, 10 grandchildren, and nine great grandchildren.

The funeral is at 10am tomorrow, at St Martin's Church, Nacton.

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