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Logan man collapses while shopping, later dies

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The wife of a Logan County pharmacist who died after collapsing while shopping in South Charleston on Black Friday said he loved to shop for Christmas.

Walter Vance, 61, of Chapmanville, collapsed just after midnight Friday at Target in The Shops at Trace Fork on Corridor G, said Lynn Vance.

Walter Vance had a history of heart problems and had undergone bypass surgery about 10 years ago, Lynn Vance said.

She said her husband had a stent put in about two weeks ago but that doctors don't know if that was a factor in his death. She said he died at Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston, where he was taken after he collapsed.

Lynn Vance said her husband decided Thursday even-ing that he wanted to go Black Friday shopping at Target. She was not feeling well, so she did not go.

She didn't know what he was looking for, but said that he loved to collect Christmas decorations for his pharmacy, the Aracoma Drug Store in Chapmanville. He also loved to buy gifts for his customers and "church family," she said.

"He loved to Christmas shop. He was just so excited about shopping for gifts," Lynn Vance said. "He was the kind of person that liked to buy gifts for everybody. He was the most giving person I ever met."

She said he didn't complain of any chest pains or any other illness before he left the house.

Some media outlets that reported on Walter Vance's death said a number of shoppers continued by him and did not stop to check on him after he collapsed. However, Lynn Vance said there were about six nurses shopping at Target who came to her husband's aid. The nurses performed CPR on him until paramedics arrived, she said.

Another woman reached into Walter Vance's pocket to find his wife's phone number. That woman called Lynn Vance to tell her that her husband had collapsed in the store.

"She's an angel," Lynn Vance said of that woman.

She said her husband was very loved by the community and will be remembered for the joy he felt by helping people.

"So many people depend on him -- his customers, church family, family and friends," she said. "It was just so sudden."

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.


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