Husband and wife of 63 years die 20 minutes apart — and the religious details are beautiful

In South Dakota, an incredible love story comes to a remarkable end.

That's how a brief ABC News mention of Henry and Jeanette De Lange — who were married for 63 years — describes their deaths 20 minutes apart.

Alas, it's impossible for a 30-second snippet to tell the full story, but ABC totally misses the religion angle.

CNN hints at the strong role of the couple's Christian faith in this love story.

But in their quick-hit pieces, the network fail to deliver the kind of beautiful religious details provided by KSFY of Sioux Falls, S.D.

Right from the start, the local station avoids any holy ghosts:

It's one of those stories that rarely comes around once in a lifetime. A story of an elderly man and woman with incredible faith and 63 years of marriage.
As their health got worse, their faith and love for God, their family and each other grew stronger until the very end.

How does the station develop the faith theme? Let us count the ways:

On that Sunday, two of their five children were with them as well knowing there wasn't much time.
"[The doctor] said your dad's pulse is worse. I wonder if he'll go first," Lee said. "About five minutes later, the aid said I think your mom will go very soon. It was 5:05 p.m. at that point."
Not long after, at 5:10 p.m., she did.
"We read Psalm 103. We didn't quite get done. She passed away very, very peacefully. Incredibly peacefully."
"My brother Keith said to my dad, said 'mom's gone to heaven. You don't have to fight anymore, you can go too if you want'. He was laying in bed. He, for the first time, opened his eyes, looked intently over where mom was. Closed his eyes back down. Laid back down, died about 5 or 10 minutes after that," Lee said.
The clock on the wall said 5:30 p.m. when Henry went to heaven, twenty minutes after his beloved wife.
"We're calling it a beautiful act of God's providential love and mercy. You don't pray for it because it seems mean but you couldn't ask for anything more beautiful."

There's more, of course. But I should probably stop copying and pasting and urge you to click the link.

So what's my journalistic point?

It's simple: Details matter. They make for more compelling journalism.

More specifically, religious details matter. In this case, the faith angle is crucial to the story. Kudos to KSFY for delivering it.

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