1939 was right before WWII, so he was gone for part of their early years of marriage. They'd already had their oldest daughter.
I feel bad for her widower, my relative. Both were already in a nursing home. My father was 84 when Mom died. He lost a lot of weight when she was sick & lived only 3 years longer. His father had been 94. Not that I would have wanted Mom to go earlier, but I wonder if he'd have lived longer if she had. But of course what happens, happens.