A Texas couple celebrating their 66th wedding anniversary in a Mexican resort city were swept away to their deaths by a freak wave.
The ocean waters engulfed Richard Culpepper, 86, and his wife, Nancy, 83, on Wednesday as the couple took a walk along a treacherous beach in Cabo San Lucas, the San Antonio Express reported.
“A rogue wave came and washed them out to sea,” the couple’s son, Ben Culpepper, told the newspaper.
The high school sweethearts previously owned Culpepper’s Cleaners, which was opened by Richard Culpepper’s father in the San Antonio area in 1911.
The former dry cleaning proprietors turned Texan ranchers were avid travelers and had arrived in the tropical resort city along the southern edge of the Baja California peninsula just hours before their deaths.
A Mexican navy boat pulled Nancy Culpepper from the ocean, but she could not be revived, their lawyer son told the Express.
Richard had already drowned when rescuers found his body.
The Culpeppers would have celebrated their anniversary Friday.
“At first you’re in denial, but then realize that it happened,” said Jess Culpepper, the son who took over their laundry business.
“Just been trying to cope with it since,” Culpepper told KSAT-TV.