For seven years, Ruthie and Verena Cady were never alone. When Ruthie died, Verena, knowing she could not live without her Siamese twin, spent her final 15 minutes planning her funeral.

"Verena said to go get Daddy and she gave me a list of friends she wanted to give flowers to. She asked to be cremated because she didn't want to be in a box, she wanted to be free," said Marlene Cady, their mother. The twins died Friday."Ruthie died 15 minutes ahead of Verena," Cady said. "Verena talked about the whole thing. She said, `This is the time we're going to be dying.' "

Most Siamese, or conjoined, twins die at birth. Doctors had told Cady and her husband, Peter, that it would be a miracle if the girls survived a year.

Ruthie's lungs deteriorated over the past several weeks, Marlene Cady said. Cady, who wrote a 1989 cover story about the twins for People magazine, said the girls lived a happy life.

The twins were connected from the sternum to the navel. Doctors could not separate them because they shared a heart, which had three chambers instead of the normal four. They also shared a liver and parts of the intestines.