Kurri's Bill and Jo Close died within the same week after more than 60 years together

William and Josephine Close were married for 68 years. They died last week, four days apart.

A joint funeral was held for the couple on Thursday at Lake Macquarie Memorial Park in Ryhope.

Known as Bill and Jo, the couple lived at Kurri Kurri. They met at a Maitland Town Hall dance around 1951.

They wed in December 1952 and had two children - Garry and Vicki.

Mr and Mrs Close were aged 89 and 88 respectively when they passed. She was from Simsville near Stroud and he was born in Kurri.

Mr Close was a coal miner and Mrs Close worked various jobs when the kids went to school.

"Dad probably wasn't the most romantic man in the world to be totally honest, but Mum always came first," daughter Vicki Fren said.

Sweethearts: Bill and Jo Close met at a Maitland Town Hall dance around 1951.

Sweethearts: Bill and Jo Close met at a Maitland Town Hall dance around 1951.

Five years ago, Mrs Close had a stroke. She survived, but didn't recover.

She moved to the nursing home at Kurri Kurri Masonic Village.

"Dad couldn't stay in the house on his own. He was up there twice a day every day for three years, until he moved in there himself," Mrs Fren said.

"Even in 40-degree heat, he'd be up there. Everyone would say, 'don't go, stay at home'.

"But he'd be up there - his place was with Mum. You'd go up of a morning and there they'd be, sitting out in the heat having a cup of tea."

Mrs Close loved the sun, the garden and being outdoors generally.

"Dad had to follow her, he didn't have a choice," Mrs Fren said, with a laugh.

"They used to go down to Blacksmiths every Christmas. I think Mum loved it more than Dad. He put up with it for her."

LOVE STORY: Bill and Jo Close at Kurri Kurri Masonic Village in 2018, when they were photographed for a story about Valentine's Day at the nursing home. Picture: Krystal Sellars

LOVE STORY: Bill and Jo Close at Kurri Kurri Masonic Village in 2018, when they were photographed for a story about Valentine's Day at the nursing home. Picture: Krystal Sellars

The family got to know the workers at the nursing home.

"They have lovely caring staff up there. They were like an addition to the family. We all got to know each other so well over the last five years," Mrs Fren said.

The deaths came as a shock.

"We thought Mum would go before Dad. We didn't think Mum would go within four days," Garry Close said.

Daughter-in-law Jeanette Close said: "She was the light of Dad's life and my rock".

"They touched a lot of people. It was certainly a love story."

When Mr Close died, the family prepared to tell Mrs Close. They weren't sure whether she would fully comprehend the situation.

She was often quiet and didn't talk much as a result of the stroke she suffered.

"When we told her, she was trying to say something to my brother," Mrs Fren said.

Garry Close said: "After we told her, she went real quiet and sat there. Her demeanor told us she did understand what we were telling her".

Jeanette Close added: "We could see it in her eyes. She knew."

On the night Mr Close passed away, the nursing home staff placed yellow roses with him.

At this point, Mrs Close didn't know he had died.

The family wanted to be the ones to tell her.

In one of those beautiful mysteries of life and death that many families can relate to, Mrs Close told the nurse: "I want a yellow flower".

The nurse was speechless.

The funeral notice for the couple, published in the Advertiser on Wednesday, said they were "together for over 60 years, apart for four days and now together for eternity".

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