Marjorie Grayson appeared at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday before a judge who described it as a "highly unusual case".
Grayson is charged with the murder of Alan Grayson, who was pronounced dead at their house in Orgreave Lane, in the Handsworth area of Sheffield, last Thursday.
Police said he died as a result of stab wounds.
Grayson appeared before the court by video link from prison.
In a statement released through South Yorkshire Police, the couple's family said: "We are devastated by what has happened. Our parents were a loving, happy couple who worked hard all their lives and were enjoying a long, happy retirement.
"They were very proud of their children and grandchildren, always encouraging and supporting us in our lives and careers.
"They abhorred violence and raised us accordingly, never once raising a hand to us or each other. Which makes what has happened impossible to comprehend.
"We have no doubt dad would want mum to be treated with care and compassion, and receive medical attention to come to terms with this tragedy.
"We are working with the police who are being very supportive, and would like to thank our family support officer.
"We ask that the family are given privacy to grieve for our dad and to support our mum and each other through the most difficult period of our lives."
Describing the case as "highly unusual", Judge Jeremy Richardson QC remanded Grayson in custody to appear again on November 16.
The judge said a trial, which is expected to last for six days, will take place on March 5 next year.