updated 07/29/2013 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 07/29/2013 AT 8:00 PM ET
They said it wouldn’t work but after a lifetime together, Helen and Les Brown proved everyone wrong.
The California couple and high school sweethearts, who were both born on the same day and celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary this year, died one day apart: Helen passed away on July 16, and Les died the next day. They were 94.
“It was a real love match, wasn’t it?” their oldest son, Les Jr., told the Long Beach Press-Telegram. “They were together every day for 75 years.”
The Long Beach lovebirds eloped on Sept. 19, 1937, and were married against their own parents’ wishes, according to their sons. Helen was from a working-class family, while Les was from a wealthier one. Both sides believed the love would never last, but the two embodied the meaning of their wedding vows “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”
The Browns moved to Long Beach in 1963, where Helen was a housewife with a knack for buying and selling area properties while Les owned a photography studio, serving as a photographer for the Navy.