The Texas-based wife of an Army officer serving in Afghanistan witnessed her husband's death as the two video chatted via Skype, his family said Friday.
Military officials have told NBC News that Capt. Bruce Clark died of an apparent massive heart attack. An autopsy is being done to determine the exact cause of death.
The 43-year-old is originally from Addison, Michigan in Lenawee county.
"Bruce's wife tragically witnessed her husband's death during one of their regular Skype video-chats on Monday," Clark's brother-in-law Bradley Taber-Thomas said in a prepared statement. "At the time of the incident, the family was hoping for a rescue and miracle, but later learned that it was not to be."
Clark, an Army chief nurse, was assigned to the William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso and deployed in March.
Taber-Thomas said the soldier's body was returned Thursday to Dover Air Force Base.
"Although the circumstances were unimaginable, Bruce's wife and extended family will be forever thankful that he and his wife were together in his last moments," he said.
A funeral is planned in Spencer port, N.Y., a suburb of Rochester and his wife's hometown, but details were not immediately available. Clark and his wife moved there in 2000 and he joined the Army six years later.
A memorial service also was planned for Addison, Mich., where Clark graduated from high school.
"While we understand the interest our family's tragedy will attract given the unique circumstances, we ask that our privacy be respected during our time of grief," Taber-Thomas said.
Taber-Thomas said Clark is survived by his wife and two daughters, age 3 and 9.