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Greensboro couple married nearly 70 years dies within hours of each other from COVID-19

Ray Coble Sr., the brother of late congressman Howard Coble, passed away Sunday night from COVID-19. His wife Barbara died just hours after him.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Ray Coble Sr., the brother of the late congressman Howard Coble, died Sunday night from COVID-19. The virus took his wife of nearly 70 years, Barbara, just hours later. 

Ray Coble will be remembered as a joker who always made people laugh, according to his children. His wife, Barbara, is described as a stern woman but always laughing at her husband. Together, they had a love story you only hear about in movies.

The children of Ray and Barbara Coble explain how strong the couple's love was throughout their marriage spanning nearly seven decades. 

“They said until death does us part, and they truly meant it. It's kind of rare these days,” said Ray and Barbara's son, Bryan Coble. “It was almost like a notebook ending.” 

Ray Coble was the brother of the late congressman Howard Coble. WFMY was able to sit down with Ray almost seven years ago, where his dedication to his brother was apparent, just like his dedication to his wife their entire lives, even after she developed dementia. 

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"He was so dedicated that he would not sleep in a bed. He wanted to sleep in a recliner so he could be as close to her as he possibly could. He didn’t want to be away from her,” Bryan Coble explained. 

Now, the couple leaves behind a legacy for their daughter, three sons, ten grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

"Through thick and thin, mom and dad would always tell you that life wasn’t always easy, but they stuck together and the support that they had for each other,” said the couple's daughter, Amanda Ratliff. 

Both Ray and Barbara died overnight within hours of each other at Wesley Long hospital from complications with COVID-19.

RELATED: Ray Coble Satisfied Being Howard's 'Other Brother'

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