Patrick Holmes, 36, one of the first four confirmed fatalities in the Minnesota bridge collapse, "was a great father and a great husband," according to his wife of 12 years, Jennifer Holmes.
"We're going to miss him," she told ABC News, her voice cracking.
"Pat," as he was called, worked as a researcher at Northwestern Health Sciences University, studying how exercise affects back and neck pain.
Holmes loved sports, baseball especially. He played for an amateur league in St. Paul, Minn.
But Jennifer Holmes said his favorite thing to do was "to play with his kids," a 6-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. He coached his son's youth baseball team.
Mark Holmes, Patrick's father, spoke in the present tense when talking about his son -- the youngest of five children.
"I think the world of him," he told ABC News.
Patrick's entire "life is a tribute," he added. "He was a wonderful son and father. It's a terrible loss."
"The family is devastated," Mark Holmes said. "This is something that shouldn't have happened."