A devoted couple who were inseparable in life have died within days of each other.
Joyce Mileham passed away on April 11 at the age of 77 and her adoring 79-year-old husband Ron died seven days later.
Joyce and Ron were both residents of Springhill Care Home in Accrington and have been smitten ever since meeting more than 30 years ago at an office in Blackburn.
Joyce, who was born in the Midlands before settling in Clayton-le-Moors with Ron, moved into Springhill after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years ago. Ron, who had Parkinson’s disease, moved in shortly after and was ever present at Joyce’s bedside.
Joyce’s sister Diane Gardner, 69, of Rishton paid tribute to the couple who she said were a ‘devastating loss’.
Diane said: “They were a devoted couple, the way they have gone is better for both of them.
“Neither were aware that the other had passed, it would have been tragic if Ron had came around after having a stroke and had found out, he would have been heartbroken.
“Joyce was on the third floor and Ron was on the ground floor at Springhill, he used to go up there everyday and sit with her, he was just content in her company, if she was sleeping he would sleep and if she was awake he would chat to her.”
Diane said that she and her sister had always been close and added that Joyce was always the ‘favourite aunty’ of her children.
She said: “We’ve always been very close, we’re from a family of four sisters and we’re originally from the Midlands.
“I moved up here with my husband’s work, and then Joyce came up after she had two failed marriages.
“With her having no children she was always the favourite aunt, she was very family focused.”
Diane said that she and her husband had also become very close to Ron and regularly ate Sunday lunch with him.
She said: “Ron used to come around every Sunday until this week, that was the first time we had not had him for a number of years which was very hard. We had a photo of him on the table.
“Ron and Joyce were a lovely couple. They will be sorely missed.”
A joint funeral service will be held on Tuesday, April 28 at Pleasington Cemetery in Blackburn at 1.30pm.