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Springfieldians gathered to remember the life of Victor Fedchuk on a cold night Nov. 19.
Fedchuk was an immigrant from Ukraine who’d been a familiar face in downtown Springfield for years. His body was found in the alley behind the Kum & Go at the intersection of Elm Street and Kimbrough Avenue on Nov. 11.
He died in a sitting position, leaning against the red brick building next to the gas station. It’s estimated that Fedchuk’s body sat against the building for several hours before it was discovered and police were notified.
Cris Swaters, spokesperson for the Springfield Police Department said officers found “no suspicious circumstances” surrounding Fedchuk’s death.
People gathered to remember Fedchuk about a week later, at Grace United Methodist Church in Springfield. They held a candlelight vigil not far from the spot where their friend was found dead.
Mike O’Brien, a contributor to the Springfield Daily Citizen and a former Springfield News-Leader columnist, shared some information he gathered about Fedchuk in 2020. Fedchuk told O’Brien that short-term memory issues kept him from holding steady jobs.
“Victor’s cargo includes a few spare clothes, blankets and a tarp he uses at night to ward off the cold, and a few utensils,” O’Brien wrote. “It’s everything he owns — except for some toys he’s been able to buy as gifts for his grandchildren. He keeps those in a rented locker.”
O’Brien closed his piece of writing with a powerful quote from a man who was known to be unpleasant and often resistant to accept help.
“I don’t need much,” Victor said. “Just friends. I need my friends.”
Springfield Daily Citizen Reporter Jackie Rehwald contributed to this report.