Remembering the lives lost to COVID-19: Retired Lt. James D. Vance, 52, of Princeton, W.Va.

Retired Lt. James D. Vance, 52, of Princeton, W.Va., died on Jan. 1, 2021, following a month-long battle with COVID-19. He’s among hundreds of thousands of Americans who have lost their lives to the disease since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020.

James was loved by his family, friends and his community. His wife, Jerri Vance, told Yahoo News he always had a smile on his face and “didn’t know a stranger.” She says he was very selfless, and he dedicated his life to serving others.

This is part of a Yahoo News series honoring some of the American lives lost to COVID-19. Their stories are told by family and friends, who were left to deal with their often sudden and painful deaths.