The Corner

After Eighty-Three Years of Marriage, Husband and Wife Die Three Days Apart

(Photographs provided by family.)

A husband and wife died three days apart last week, after having been married for over 83 years.

Max and LaVere Robinson secretly wed when they were both 17 on November 1, 1929, only telling their parents later. The teens had first met at their families’ Latter-Day Saints church in Oakland, California. Max Robinson passed away first on August 26th at 101 years old followed by his 100-year-old wife LaVere Robinson on August 29th.

“They had an amazing relationship, right up to the end,” granddaughter Lisa Goeas recalls. “They were very much in love with each other and very happy.”

Over their 83 years of marriage, the industrious couple launched a wholesale grocery business,  operated a real-estate office, and owned an insurance company.

They also had quite the family life with their three daughters, ten grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

Goeas says the couple was devoted to their extended family. “They must have always had a grandchild spending the night,” she recalls. “And they would take all of us kids on trips” in their motor home, to California beaches like Santa Cruz and Pismo Beach.

While Max was affected with Alzheimer’s at the end of his life, he always remembered LaVere. “He definitely knew who she was. He would go find her every night to give her a kiss,” Goeas says.

“He would talk about her all the time,” Goeas says, adding that to her mother, Max “would talk about ‘oh, that mother of yours, I love her so much, I’m so lucky, I married the most beautiful woman in the world, and she’s been such a great partner.’”

At LaVere’s 100th birthday celebration last September, Max lavishly praised her. “He just can’t stop talking about her,” Goeas remembers.

Max had recently suffered a fall, although the family hadn’t anticipated he would die in the near future.  But the family was stunned when LaVere died three days later:  There was no “real reason” she died, says Goeas. While LaVere had had serious health problems, she had always made it through before.

LaVere’s relationship advice for couples, as Goeas recalls, involved urging “a lot of patience, a lot of understanding, a lot of communication.”

In a 2009 interview, LaVere told Church News, “Max and I really have had a great life together.”

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...


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