After 64 years of marriage, they died one day apart

The Detroit Lakes couple will be buried together on Tuesday.
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John and Anne Alexander spent most of the last six-plus decades side by side, their kids say. And on Tuesday the Detroit Lakes couple will be next to each other again at their funeral Mass at Holy Rosary Catholic Church – the same church where they were married more than 64 years ago.

After living their whole lives in northwestern Minnesota, Anne died last Wednesday afternoon at age 84. John, who was 88, followed on Thursday morning, their obituary says.

After a Mass of Christian Burial at noon on Tuesday, John and Anne will be buried side by side in Holy Rosary's cemetery.

'They got to go out like they wanted, together'

One of their daughters, Kate Anderson, told Forum News Service: "It's a sad deal, but it's a happy one, too, knowing that they got to go out like they wanted, together."

Their obituary explains that John grew up on the family farm just east of Detroit Lakes, attending a rural country school. Anne was from the nearby town of Ogema.

After a stint in the Army, John worked for BNSF Railway for awhile, then joined his father on their grain farm and in a well-drilling business. Anne looked after a household with seven children and waited tables, first at Erie 34 Supper Club, then at Fireside Restaurant.

Anne's knitting and quilting skills yielded mittens, sweaters, and quilts for family members and for holiday donations. John was known for his love of hunting, fishing, and tinkering around the house and garage.

They moved into Ecumen Nursing Home in March. They occupied two rooms, which were side by side.

Kate Anderson told Forum News when her parents entered an assisted living facility last fall, her mom was getting regular dialysis treatments and her dad had just been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

This spring the dialysis became too much for her mother to take, though, and the end of Anne's treatments affected John, too.

"When he knew mom was going to be leaving, then he just gave up himself," Anderson said.

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