US couple together for nearly 65 years die on the same day

In this November 2019 photo provided by Sue Wagener shows Jack and Harriet Morrison. (AP)
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Updated 19 January 2020

US couple together for nearly 65 years die on the same day

  • Eighty-six-year-old Jack died first. Harriett, who was 83, died later on Jan. 11

ARNOLD, Missouri: A couple who had been together for nearly 65 years have died on the same day at a St. Louis-area nursing home.
Jack and Harriet Morrison’s beds were placed next to each other in their final hours, allowing them to hold hands, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
Eighty-six-year-old Jack died first. Harriett, who was 83, died later on Jan. 11.
“I’m sad. But I know they’re at peace and they’re back together,” said Sue Wagener, a niece raised by the Morrisons. “It truly was a love story for the books.”
The couple went on their first date on Halloween of 1955. “They went to a little diner and never separated from that day on,” Wagener said. They married about six months later.
They met as Harriett accompanied her father on a trip with the drum and bugle corp he played in. Jack was behind the wheel of a charter bus that drove the group to some of its concerts.
Together, the couple ran and grew V-K Bus Lines while raising Wagener and their two sons.
They were active Moolah Shriners, a fraternal order devoted to philanthropy, and traveled the world next to each other, often on Shrine-related trips, including to Europe and Australia.
“You didn’t see Jack unless you saw Harriet,” said Wayne Price, a fellow Shriner.
About a year ago, Harriet tripped while walking their dog, breaking her pelvis and hip, Wagener said. She had dementia, and moved into The Woodlands of Arnold nursing home and rehabilitation center.
Meanwhile, Jack was having trouble living at home. Wagener said she talked him into moving into a villa at the Woodlands in May. In September, he also fell, breaking his neck. He then moved into the nursing home, four doors down the hall from his wife.
Even then, they would nap together, one in a wheelchair, the other in bed — their hands intertwined.
“Some days she knew him; other days she didn’t,” said Wagener.
Wagener said she told Jack on Christmas Eve that Harriet had stopped eating and drinking. He barely ate or drank after that.
About 11 p.m. on Jan. 10, she got a call from a nurse saying Harriet appeared close to death. The nurse asked if staff could move furniture out of Jack’s room so the couple could be together.
Wagener said there was nothing she’d love more.


Death toll rises to 32 in religious violence in India’s capital

Updated 27 February 2020

Death toll rises to 32 in religious violence in India’s capital

  • Uneasy calm prevailing in northeast Delhi
  • Modi government blames opposition for violence

NEW DELHI: At least 32 people have been killed in the deadliest violence to engulf India’s capital New Delhi for decades as a heavy deployment of security forces brought an uneasy calm on Thursday, a police official said.
The violence began over a disputed new citizenship law on Monday but led to clashes between Muslims and Hindus in which hundreds were injured. Many suffered gunshot wounds, while arson, looting and stone-throwing has also taken place.
“The death count is now at 32,” Delhi police spokesman Anil Mittal said, adding the “entire area is peaceful now.”
At the heart of the unrest is a citizenship law which makes it easier for non-Muslims from some neighboring Muslim-dominated countries to gain Indian citizenship.
UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said the new law adopted last December is of “great concern” and she was worried by reports of police inaction in the face of assaults against Muslims by other groups.
“I appeal to all political leaders to prevent violence,” Bachelet said in a speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Critics say the law is biased against Muslims and undermines India’s secular constitution.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party has denied having any prejudice against India’s 180 million Muslims, saying that law is required to help persecuted minorities.
New Delhi has been the epicenter for protests against the new law, with students and large sections of the Muslim community leading the protests.
As the wounded were brought to hospitals on Thursday, the focus shifted on the overnight transfer of Justice S. Muralidhar, a Delhi High Court judge who was hearing a petition into the riots and had criticized government and police inaction on Wednesday.
Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the transfer was routine and had been recommended by the Supreme Court collegium earlier this month.
Opposition Congress party leader Manish Tiwari said every lawyer and judge in India should strongly protest what he called a crude attempt to intimidate the judiciary.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said inflammatory speeches at the protests over the new citizenship law in the last few months and the tacit support of some opposition leaders was behind the violence.
“The investigation is on,” he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who romped to re-election last May, also withdrew Jammu and Kashmir’s autonomy in August with the objective of tightening New Delhi’s grip on the restive region, which is also claimed by full by Pakistan.
For months the government imposed severe restrictions in Kashmir including cutting telephone and Internet lines, while keeping hundreds of people, including mainstream political leaders, in custody for fear that they could whip up mass protests. Some restrictions have since been eased.
Bachelet said the Indian government continued to impose excessive restrictions on the use of social media in the region, even though some political leaders have been released, and ordinary life may be returning to normal in some respects.