For 61 years, a Northland couple lived happily ever after together. The pair were inseparable.
Even in death. Peter and Ruth Bedford both died on Monday, May 14, nine hours apart from each other, one year past their 60th anniversary.
“It’s good they went together,” daughter Caroline Bedford said. “They would have been completely lost without each other.”
“I think Mum decided he wasn’t coming back,” she said.
“She died at 10am on Monday morning and I got a message to Dad. He followed her about nine hours later,” she said.
Peter and Ruth Bedford, 86 and 83, were married on December 30, 1957.
Peter had emigrated to New Zealand, as a “10 pound pom”, where he fell in love with Ruth, from Wellington.
He was a rural man and a deep thinker, she eventually became a law clerk. But the pair were perfect for each other, Bedford said.
The couple loved tramping together, music, and going to concerts.
“Mum had a philosophical, intellectual brain and she loved to debate. And Dad was a big thinker too.”
“They loved animals and they loved their garden,” Caroline Bedford said. “They should have entered them into competition they were so good.”
The couple were well known in the Kaikohe community where they had lived since 1980, and were heavily involved in the A&P Show.
Before then, the Bedford family had been raised in rural Manawatu. Caroline remembered growing up with sheep, cows, horses, possums, magpies, white rats, cats and a dog.
“They were very rural people. Well, Dad was. Mum liked the arts and socialising,” she said.
“They were both fiercely independent. But very kind and helpful, especially in their community.
The couple are survived by their three children Michael, Simon and Caroline, and two grandchildren.
“They were very proud of their children and their grandchildren, I know that,” she said.
Caroline said her daughter Cadence, 31, had said: “My Grandad didn’t speak much, but when he spoke people listened.”
Their funeral is on Wednesday at Squire Funeral Services in Kaikohe.