A US couple who held hands at breakfast every morning even after 70 years of marriage have died 15 hours apart.

Helen Felumlee, of Nashport, Ohio, died aged 92 on April 12. Her husband, 91-year-old Kenneth Felumlee, died the next morning.

The couple's eight children say the two had been inseparable since meeting as teenagers, once sharing the bottom of a bunk bed on a ferry rather than sleeping one night apart. They remained deeply in love until the very end, even eating breakfast together while holding hands, said their daughter, Linda Cody.

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"We knew when one went, the other was going to go," she said. According to Ms Cody, about 12 hours after Helen died, Kenneth looked at his children and said, "Mom's dead." He quickly began to fade and was surrounded by 24 of his closest family members and friends when he died the next morning. "He was ready," Ms Cody said. "He just didn't want to leave her here by herself."

Son Dick Felumlee said his parents died of old age, surrounded by family.

"At Dad's bed we were singing his favourite hymns, reading scriptures and praying with him," he said. "It was a going away party, and we know he loved it."

The pair had known each other for several years when they eloped in Newport, Kentucky, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, on February 20, 1944. At two days shy of his 21st birthday, Kenneth, was too young to marry in Ohio.