Meaningful Stories of Inspiration

All of us enjoy reading touching inspirational true stories that bring us hope, optimism and reading stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  Reflecting On Memories is dedicating this section for real-life inspirational stories can touch and inspire each of us.  Those stories that have heart and make us more passionate about life and helping others. These can be stories that stir all the human emotions of laughter, tears, goose-bumps or just someone showing their love for fellow human being.  We look forward to hearing from you. Please check back as we share these stories.

72 Years Together: Couple Died Holding Hands 

This story sounds like the movie The Notebook, because there are so many similarities. One huge difference. The Notebook wasn’t real. This story is.

Norma and Gordon Yeager had been married for 72 years. Ninety-year-old Norma and 94-year-old Gordon Yeager met while Norma was still in high school and Gordon was working at the Chevrolet Garage in State Center, Iowa. On May 26, 1939, Norma’s high school graduation day, they got married and promised each other ’til death do they part. And that’s exactly how it went.

It’s a love story for the ages. Norma and Gordon were both in their 90s when they were hospitalized after being involved in a car accident on October 12, 2011. The nurses and doctor kept them together in the intensive care unit, and they lay there, barely responsive but holding hands.  “They just loved being together,” says their son Dennis. “He always said, ‘I can’t go until she does because I gotta stay here for her.’ And she would say the same thing.”

That afternoon at 3:38pm, Gordon passed away, with his wife and family beside him. The odd thing was that Gordon’s heart monitor kept beeping. “It was really strange. They were holding hands, and dad stopped breathing but I couldn’t figure out what was going on because the heart monitor was still going,” Dennis recalled.

The attending nurse then pointed out to the family that the couple’s hands were still locked together. Norma’s heart was beating through him and the monitor was picking it up. Exactly one hour later though, at 4:38pm, Norma died too. “Neither one of them would’ve wanted to be without each other. I couldn’t figure out how it was going to work,” said daughter Donna Sheets on what life would have been like for the other if only one had survived.

At their funeral on Tuesday, October 18th, Norma and Gordon shared a casket and held hands. Once cremated, their ashes were mixed together.

The Yeagers had four children together, one daughter and three sons. They are survived by two of their children – Donna and Dennis, as well as 14 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.

“I don’t believe there was a big secret to their marriage,” son Dennis said. “Sometimes one or the other would get mad, but they worked everything out. In the end, they chose each other and that was it. They were committed.”  Special thanks to