ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- We're learning more about the little boy who family members say, lit up a room with his smile.
Thomas Kossow's family says he earned his fair share of nicknames thanks to his bright hair and even brighter personality.
"When he was younger, we used to call 'Thomas the Train'. With his red hair and blue eyes, some of his teachers called him ‘Howdy Doody’” says Thomas’ cousin Misty Halterman-Ahrens.
Halterman-Ahrens says she'll remember Thomas as a shy boy who would always come out of his shell when his neighborhood friends were around to play. Thomas enjoyed school she says, but what he really loved was spending time with this dad. They were best friends and almost always together.
"They were a regular family leading regular lives,” says Halterman-Ahrens.
Like a regular boy, he loved his toys, especially his race cars, match box cards, and anything with the Pixar character Lightning McQueen.
"We will lovingly bury Thomas with his Lightning McQueen pillow and blanket that he slept with every night. We love you Thomas."
The funeral for Thomas Kossow will be held Friday in Rockford at the Mount Olive Lutheran Church off Alpine Road. A visitation will be held between 3-5:15pm. The funeral will begin at 5:30pm.