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Married 66 years, Florida couple die from COVID-19 minutes apart

This undated photo provided by Sarah Milewski shows Bill and Esther Ilnisky. The couple spent nearly seven decades together as Christian ministers and missionaries, including stints in the Caribbean and Middle East before preaching for 40 years in Florida.  When they died minutes apart of COVID-19 on March 1, 2021, at a Palm Beach County hospice, it may have been a hidden blessing, their only child, Sarah Milewski, said.(Sarah Milewski via AP) (Sarah Milewski via AP)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Florida couple who spent decades as missionaries and ministers died minutes apart of COVID-19.

Bill and Esther Ilnisky were married almost 67 years when they died recently at a Palm Beach County hospice. Their daughter says while she misses them, she is consoled by the fact that they died together.

The Ilniskys spent 10 years in Jamaica and seven in Lebanon as Christian missionaries. They then moved to West Palm Beach in the 1970s and spent four decades running an Assemblies of God church there.

At 10:15 a.m. on March 1, Esther Ilnisky, 92, died. Fifteen minutes later, her husband, 88, followed. Their 67th wedding anniversary would have been this weekend.