Tommy F. Clark, 67, and his wife, Mary Sue Clark, 53, of Boneville, died of heart attacks within 30 minutes of each other Saturday.
They were known inside and outside of their community as the owners of Boneville Grocery at 2376 Augusta Highway in McDuffie County.
Mr. Clark's oldest son, Tommy F. Clark Jr., of Hephzibah, said his father woke up early Saturday morning and realized his wife was not breathing and had a faint pulse.
He called her son, Billy Sturkey, of Thomson, who was at the grocery store, and told him what was happening. Mr. Clark went to the store to pick up Mr. Sturkey, and on the drive back Mr. Clark suffered a heart attack behind the wheel. Mr. Sturkey was able to get control of the vehicle and drive back to the store, where Mr. Clark died.
Mr. Clark's son said the couple loved each other deeply and were inseparable.
"If you ever saw one, the other was there," he said. "They loved each other to the end. They didn't plan it, but I believe that if my father had made it back to the house and they'd have pronounced her dead, he probably would have had the heart attack right then."
Mr. Clark said his father had owned and operated his store for at least 30 years.
He married Mrs. Clark in 1986 or 1987 -- their son wasn't sure -- and the couple had run the store together ever since.
The store was well known among hunters for its meat processing, Mr. Clark said.
"People would make long trips to the store just to get meat processed because they really liked the way that he did it," he said.
He said his father loved to hunt and fish himself.
The charm of the store and the couple's hospitality kept people coming back.
"You might have been a stranger when you went in, but you wouldn't be a stranger by the time you left," Mr. Clark said.
Tommy F. Clark is also survived by a daughter, Kim Clark Slaton, of Evans; two grandsons and a great-grandson.
Mrs. Clark is also survived by two daughters, Barbara Hope Walker, of Thomson, and Brenda Dawn Sturkey, of Hephzibah; and six grandchildren.
Funeral services for the couple will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday in the Curtis Funeral Home Chapel, with the Rev. Bryant Neal officiating. Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Reach Jonathan Overstreet at (706) 823-3708 or firstname.lastname@example.org.