“They are role models for everybody who wants a good relationship”

The story of Paul and his wife, Kris, 59 — which has been chronicled by various media outlets over the years — is a tale that reaches far beyond people with disabilities.

“They are role models for everybody who wants a good relationship,” said Susan Scharoun, Kris Scharoun-DeForge’s older sister. “They were a team: They deferred to each other and looked out for each other.”

Kris loved to cook, and her husband loved to eat her cooking, Scharoun said. He also kept a copy of the insulin scale for his wife, who is diabetic. When she took her blood-sugar levels, he always checked in, offering encouragement or suggestions. He often said, “Darling, calm down,” when she was upset, and he said it gently and without an authoritative tone. The soothing worked.