Moments after twirling his newly-wed daughter on the dance floor at her Costa Rica wedding, Tim Buchanan suffered a heart attack and died.
His devastated wife, Jeni, broke the news to friends via Facebook, writing: "You never know when the last time will be the last time! He was the most beautiful soul I have ever known and I will never be the same without him.
"I know he loved me and our family. Over the years we raised four amazing children, cared for my little brothers when they needed us the most and had even had the honour of a beautiful grandchild."
She also shared an image of the South Carolina-based couple, which turned out to be their last together, taken by friends at the wedding.
Tim was a veteran detective with the US Sheriff's department in South Carolina. He served for 19 years and was 54 when he died.
His wife's Facebook page suggests Tim knew he was unwell but didn't go to the doctor for fear of what may be revealed about the state of his health.
Jeni explained how family was "the most important thing to him", so much so that he ignored his own health.
"He should have gone to the doctor, but he was afraid that he wouldn't be able to attend our daughter's wedding."
The family are reportedly still in Costa Rica trying to make arrangements to bring Tim home to South Carolina. A GoFundMe page has been set up by friends of the family to help cover their unforeseen expenses.