Couple Dies Just Minutes Apart From Coronavirus After 66 Years Of Marriage And Christian Ministry Together

Bill and Esther Ilnisky spent several decades together as Christian ministers and missionaries, according to Fox News.

Before preaching for 40 years in Florida they worked in the Caribbean and the Middle East.

The couple died only minutes apart due to COVID-19.

Sarah Milewski said it was a devastating double loss for her.

Milewski’s father was 88 and he mother was 92.

Their 67th wedding anniversary would have been this weekend.

“It is so precious, so wonderful, such a heartwarming feeling to know they went together,” Milewski said.

“I miss them.”

Bill Ilnisky grew up in Detroit.

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Ilinsky decided to devote his life to God at the age of 16.

“When my dad proposed, he told her, ‘Esther, I can’t promise you wealth, but I can promise you lots of adventure,'” Milewski said. “She had a lot, a lot of adventure.”

Bill Ilnisky opened churches in the Midwest.

The Ilniskys took congregants to Jamaica for a mission, fell in love with the island, and stayed on to run a church in Montego Bay for a decade.

It was then that they adopted Milewski, at the age of 2.

The family moved from Jamaican to Lebanon where Mr. Ilinksy ministered to college students.

Ilnisky’s wife held an outreach center and had a Christian rock band.

“At that time, Lebanon was an amazing country — gorgeous,” Milewski said.

In 1975, civil war broke out between Christian and Muslim factions, and Beirut, the nation’s capital, became a battleground.

Bombs exploded outside of their apartment twice.

“My mom thought he was dead,” Milewski said. “My mom and I went and hid in the bathroom all night, crying and praying.” The next morning, bullet holes pocked the walls of apartments on every floor except theirs.

“We attributed that to prayer,” she said.

“They were always, always together,” Milewski said. “So in sync.”

From Fox News:

Sarah Milewski and her husband visited her parents on Valentine’s Day, her mother’s birthday. A few days later, her mom became ill, and not long after the couple were diagnosed with the virus and hospitalized.

While the prognosis was initially good, the disease overtook them. The decision was made Feb. 27 to put them in hospice. Jacqueline Lopez-Devine, chief clinical officer at Trustbridge hospice, said in her 15 years working with the dying, no couple had arrived together. She said there was no hesitation about putting them in the same room for their final days.

Because of the virus, Milewski said her goodbyes through a window, a microphone carrying “I love you” to her parents’ bedside. They looked like they did when sleeping, her father lying on the right side, her mother facing him. He would nod as Milewski spoke; her mom tried to speak but couldn’t.

“It was horrible,” Milewski said.

At 10:15 a.m. on March 1, Esther Ilnisky died. Fifteen minutes later, her husband followed.


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