Josef Parker remembered by classmates

Preschool students at Tri County Elementary remembered a very special little boy Monday. It would have been Josef Parker's 5th birthday and his classmates celebrated by sending him a unique present.

“We put a balloon to heaven.” Each student in the morning pre–school class wrote a special message to Josef on their balloon. They then bundled up and ventured out in the snow to sing happy birthday and to release the rainbow of colors into the sky.

“This was kind of our final goodbye to Josef, to let the kids know he's ok, that he's still in Heaven watching us,” Teacher Barb Lohmeier said.

After seeing the balloons vanish, Josef's classmates ate a Spongebob Squarepants cake, Josef's favorite cartoon character. They talked about Josef and shared memories of him and even asked a few questions.

“Whether he'll get his balloons, do you think he can read them and I said the angels will read to him if he couldn't read them,” Lohmeier said. Aiden was Josef's closest friend, and as he was leaving for the day he asked if he could go to Josef's home. Aiden loved being outside with Josef and playing with him after school. “I miss him,” Aiden said.