Updated, 1:39 p.m. Raymond Nidiffer, the retired grocer implicated in a double stabbing at the Rogue Valley Manor that left his wife dead Sunday, has died.

Updated, 1:39 p.m. Raymond Nidiffer, the retired grocer implicated in a double stabbing at the Rogue Valley Manor that left his wife dead Sunday, has died.

His family and Medford police reported that Nidiffer, 79, died at about 9:50 a.m. today of respiratory failure following a heart condition.

Sunday night employees at the Manor found him and his wife, Mary June Nidiffer, 80, inside their locked apartment and suffering from stab wounds. She died there and Ray Nidiffer was taken to an Rogue Valley Medical Center, where his condition initially rebounded before worsening Thursday.

“While mom and dad’s final days were touched by tragedy, their lives were defined by their love for each other,” their son Doug Nidiffer said in a statement the family released this afternoon. “For more than 60 years they were partners in marriage, family, business and community; now they are partners in heaven.”

The statement said that June had suffered for years from advanced Parkinson’s disease and macular degeneration. Friends had noted that Ray had health problems of his own, including knee pain and the aftereffects of a stroke.

Medford police Lt. Tim Doney said the Jackson County medical examiner will investigate Ray Nidiffer’s death, then all the information collected by police in regards to the couple’s stabbings and death will be compiled. Investigators plan to close the case “by exception,” a term indicating that all suspects have died.

Ray Nidiffer was the longtime owner of C&K Markets, which operates his namesake Ray’s Food Place stores, as well as Price Less Foods and Shop Smart stores. Doug Nidiffer now heads the Brookings-based company.

— Anita Burke