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Gladys Streed stands next to her daughter, Dianne Dally, at their birthday party last year.

Born the same day, they died the same day

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For 70 years, Dianne Dally and her mother, Gladys Streed, shared the same December 12 birthday -- down to the same time, doctor and hospital.

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But it was Wednesday when Dally, 96, said "I love you," and gave one last kiss to her 70-year-old daughter at LakeWood Health Center in Baudette, Minn., only to walk four doors down, and pass away four hours later.

Dally's son, Miles Carlson, said his mother passed away after a "long, hard-fought" battle with cancer. His grandmother, he said, passed away from complications of pneumonia and possibly shock.

"Grandma did not want mom to die before her," Carlson said. "I think of it as a race they were doing and honestly, I think grandma stuck around because mom needed looking after."

In their 70 years together, the Baudette duo looked after one another, convinced the other needed more help. The two became closer following the death of Streed's husband, Birger, 11 years ago.

Carlson compared their relationship to a husband and wife.

"They often squabbled like an old married couple and it was plain to see that Gladys was waiting on Dianne before she went to go join her late husband," he said.

When looking at the two, Carlson has been trying to figure out how they were born the same day, and passed away the same day, and what kind of significance that may have. He said he can't figure it out.

Carlson said his grandmother always joked of their birthday, "as both a gift and 'a hell of a way to spend your birthday,' no one could deny the rarity of the event."

He described his mother as a, "battleship," or a "real fighter," having grown up with fibromyalgia and a heart condition. In her battle with cancer, she lived three months longer than doctors expected. His grandmother, he described as a "hard-headed gal," but one "that touched a lot of lives."

Both women were teachers at Lake of the Woods High School and very active in the First Congregational Church. Dally is survived by four children and seven grandchildren. Streed is survived by three children, eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

A joint funeral arrangement was discussed Thursday night, Carlson said. He expects it to be late next week to accommodate distant relatives and friends.

"I don't think we have a church large enough for this funeral," he said.

Reach Jerke at (701) 787-6736; (800) 477-6572, ext. 6736; or send email to tjerke@gfherald.com.

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