RICHMOND, Va. -- Nicholas Koslicki made friends everywhere he went. That is one reason why people from all over the country are planning to fly to Virginia to say goodbye to the Virginia State Trooper and U.S. Marine veteran.
Koslicki, known to friends as Nick and Koz, died Sunday in a canoeing accident on Hunting Run Reservoir in Spotsylvania County. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources is still investigating the accident.
"He was a marvelous man and did fun stuff," Gail Beyer said about her 41-year-old son.
The western New York native moved to Virginia in the early 2000s to start a new life.
"He joined this police force because he liked being in uniform," younger brother Kent Morehouse said. "He said it brought needed discipline to his life."
Koslicki experienced a major life change just a few weeks before his death.
His baby daughter Scarlett was born in late January.
"He said having a baby would not change him, but you could tell it did," his mother said. "He was so excited. Everything was about her."
She said Nick was eager to share his love of cars with his daughter.
"You could tell in his voice that he was a dad again," Nick's father Darwin Koslicki shared. "When Scarlett was born, it all stopped. His life was about Scarlett."
Darwin, who drives a truck for a living, said he often spoke to his son while Nick was on patrol and he was on the road.
"He would call me at night. I miss that call," he said. "I'm devastated. Parents aren't supposed to bury their kids."
Nick leaves behind a wife Ashley, daughter Scarlett and a large extended family.
"My heart is broken," his mother said.
"He's my hero," his father said. "He fought for our country and joined the police force. I'm proud of him. He's a good boy."
Nick will be laid to rest Monday, May 9 at Quantico National Cemetery.