An elderly couple who were married for more than 70 years died hours apart after both testing positive for the coronavirus.

Wilford and Mary Kepler, who wed in 1946, were transported to Froedtert Hospital in Wisconsin on 12 April after Wilford suffered a fall, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

After arriving at the hospital, Wilford tested positive for Covid-19. Mary had been self-isolating at home, having already tested positive for the virus.

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Six days after being taken to hospital, the couple passed away within six hours of one another.

According to the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office, Mary died at the age of 92 from the virus, while Wilford passed away at the age of 94 due to a traumatic head injury.

The couple had three children, eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren together.

Their granddaughter, Natalie Lameka, said they were “aware of what was going on” and “were at peace with it” after visiting them for an hour on 17 April.

Their son, Michael Kepler, stated that his parents “took care of their children” and “lived a good life”.

“They did the things that most people would want to do for their children and for their families," he said.

Wilford and Mary both graduated from Richland Centre High School in the 1940s a few years apart, it states in their joint obituary.

Before his class graduation in 1943, Wilford was drafted into the army for the Second World War, which involved fighting in the Battle of Okinawa.

While Wilford was away at war, Mary was encouraged by a friend to start writing to him, marking the beginning of their relationship.

The couple tied the knot a year after the war ended, moving between various areas before settling in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

Wilford worked as a machinist for 35 years, while Mary was the first woman to become vice president of the US Steel Supply.

The couple also both provided support for their community, with Wilford volunteering at the Milwaukee VA Hospital for more than two decades and Mary becoming involved with the Milwaukee County Commission on Aging.

Their obituary outlines that no services are being held for them at this time.

“Their beds were together at Froedtert and they were able to hold hands during their last days,” the obituary reads.

“Mary commented before her death that she was being cared for by angels.”

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