WJTV News Channel 12 - Mother, father, daughter die naturally within days of each other

Mother, father, daughter die naturally within days of each other

Posted: Updated: March 16, 2014 05:16 PM CDT
ST. CLOUD, Minn. -

A Minnesota mother, father, and daughter died of natural causes within days of each other last week.

The family of Sharon, Thomas and Sandra Schulte say the three had a connectedness that was hard to explain, Daily Mail reports.

Sandra, 57, was the oldest of five children.  She was born with Down Syndrome, functioned at the capacity of a four-year-old and spent her life living with her parents, Sharon and Thomas.

"They were connected at the soul in a way that was quite incredible," said Kim Butkowski, Sandra's sister.

She added, "With all three, you couldn't tell where one ended and the other started."

Sharon was diagnosed with lung cancer a year and a half ago.  News outlet reports her illness progressed, worsening and mastecising to brain cancer.

Then last fall, her husband Thomas, 77, began falling over and experiencing memory loss.

He, too, was diagnosed with lung cancer in November.

The trio moved to a long-term nursing facility so Sharon and her husband could receive they help they needed.

"Mom's wish was always that she wanted to outlive Sandy," Butkowski said.

Sandy passed away of natural causes on March 7.

Her mother, Sharon, passed away the following day at age 76.

A mere three days later, on March 11, Thomas passed away.

"Mom and dad wanted to walk Sandy to Heaven's gate, and that's what happened," Butkowski told Daily Mail.

A special funeral was planned for all three last Friday.  Sandy was cremated and her parents were buried next to each other.

Sharon was buried holding the urn with her daughter's ashes.

"It's what we believed everyone would have wanted, especially mom," Butkowski explained.

*Daily Mail contributed to this report.

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