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Soul-mates for 70 years Paddy and Arthur Hoffman die justs days apart

By Cate McCurry

Published 11/05/2015

Arthur and Paddy Hoffman
Arthur and Paddy Hoffman
Arthur and Paddy Hoffman on their wedding day

They were inseparable in life and then in death, with a love and marriage made in wartime that lasted 70 years.

Former Belfast nurse Paddy Hoffman, nee Quin, has died just two days after her beloved husband Arthur passed away.

Soul-mates Arthur and Paddy met during the Second World War when he was a New Zealand Air Force pilot and she was a nurse at the Royal Victoria Hospital.

The devoted couple married in 1946 and moved to Wellington in New Zealand.

Paddy (Patricia) Shyreen Hoffman (90) was the daughter of Herbert Quin, an Ulster Unionist MP and Stormont senator.

The couple were admitted to Northhaven Hospital in March where they were put into adjoining beds. When Mr Hoffman, a retired flying officer, passed away in his sleep on April 28, Mrs Hoffman died "of a broken heart" two days later.

They had one son, Shane. The lifelong sweethearts' grandson Jason Hoffman said that they were "soul-mates".

"It's all very romantic, together in life, together in death, and together right to the end.

"She was very much aware that my grandfather had passed away and without him... she just wanted to be with him," said 29-year-old Jason, who travelled to New Zealand from London with his two sisters last week.

A newspaper in New Zealand reported that the grandchildren have been clearing their "intelligent and stoic" grandparents' house and making funeral arrangements.

Jason said he always looked up to his grandparents. After going through their old photographs and letters, the grandson said he was struck at just how respected in the community they were.

He also found their long and happy marriage inspirational.

He added: "Finding your soul-mate, being true to yourself and that person, and living your life to the fullest... they have really set a standard for the rest of us to try and achieve."

Mr and Mrs Hoffman will be buried together in New Zealand.

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