Officials separate couple after 73 years: ‘I listened to my mother weep’


PERTH-ANDOVER, N.B. β€” An elderly New Brunswick couple bid a tearful goodbye this week, separated just days before Christmas after 73 years together.

Herbert and Audrey Goodine gave each other a peck on the lips and said goodbye Monday, moments before Herbert was driven to a new care residence about 45 minutes away.

The couple have been married for 69 years, spending the last three years together at the Victoria Villa Special Care Home in Perth-Andover, N.B.

But after a recent assessment of Herbert’s health, officials decided the home could no longer accommodate him because the 91-year-old’s dementia had progressed to a point where he needs a higher level of care.

Dianne Phillips, the couple’s daughter, said she was told last Friday her father would have to move.

By Monday, a van carried him away to another home in Plaster Rock as Audrey stood by the window and watched him go.

“I feel people need to know what a flawed system we have in place. Two words describe it ‘unethical and cruel,'” she said in a Facebook post.

“This should never take place to another human again.”

Phillips is upset the couple was separated a week before Christmas, saying it’s mentally and emotionally difficult for her parents who had, up until now, shared a room and the same bed at the villa.

Phillips said in the post that she understands her father requires a higher level of care, but felt the facility could have arranged for the couple to be separated after the holiday.

“I listened to my mother weep and I could hear my father in the background,” she said. “My mother said, ‘Christmas is over for us now and this is the worst Christmas that we will ever have. Why could they not have waited till after the holidays.'”

Jennifer Eagan of Victoria Villa told Global News she cannot comment on specific cases due to privacy, but stresses the home is a Level 2 facility for residents who need a little bit of supervision.

Phillips said her father was assessed as being Level 3, while her 89-year-old mother is Level 2.

The couple will be together for Christmas at their daughter’s home in Fredericton.


  1. I can’t believe there wasn’t ONE person with a caring heart that could have at the least prevented this until after Christmas!
    ….hoping with all the press this is receiving, that arrangements can be made to keep them together. 😒

  2. Awwww, made me cry! There should be a law stating that couples stay together in cases like this…if one requires more care, move them both, don’t break their hearts like this. I’d like to take them home myself! Why, in 2017, are we allowed to do this? Animals are pushed in everyone’s faces to find them homes when they are no longer wanted? Homes are always found, thank God, but what about humans? Don’t they matter as well? Can’t homes be suitable for elderly couples, NO MATTER WHAT???

  3. Until we stand up and fight politicians on this it won’t change. Funding for senior citizens is sadly negligent. Homes and staff have to work within the guidelines, rules and funding. Think about this when elections are being held.

  4. This is truly heartless They should move the wife with him and let them go together. The government needs to step in and have funds going to the homes for our seniors. Instead of passing marijuana and then what kind of trouble will we be inThey need to be looked after properly and have proper care. God Bless you both and hope there is a chance for his wife to go too

  5. No matter if it’s christmas or not they don’t have the right to just move ontario families have be consulted prior an need approval to move someone for further care..its immoral right before christmas to treat people like this for sure wow such cruelty…this province treats the patients like inmates…

  6. Heart breaking situation for sure, I`m really glad they will be together for Christmas. It`s hard to say who exactly made the decision he was level 3 and when exactly he had to be moved, but the timing of the move was obviously made without any consideration for this couple.

    • I agree totally with you let them stay together or if he had to go take her too. This is absolutely disgusting and I hope something can be done with this. Parliament better start putting money where it should be put God Bless these two

  7. 😒😒😒😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑😑

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