HARTSVILLE, TN (WSMV) - A couple is sharing memories of a child with an unforgettable smile days after his choking death.

The family of seven-month-old Ridge Williams said the young boy choked on a pacifier.

“People in restaurants and grocery stores would pass by and say how beautiful and what a big smile he had,” said Ashley Williams. “I know a lot of people say this about their kids, but he was really a happy baby.”

"That was his character," added husband Colby Williams. "That was him."

The couple shuffled through a stack of pictures with their three-year-old daughter Ellie.

"What's Bubba doing in that picture?" Ashley asked Ellie, showing her a picture of little brother Ridge.

"Eating an apple!" shouted Ellie.

"He did eat an apple, didn't he?"

From the stack of pictures, one thing is certain. There was a special bond between Ridge and Ellie.

"That's him and his sister, always together, always holding hands," said Ashley, picking out another picture from the stack. "He could never get enough of her."

This was supposed to be Ridge's first Christmas, a day to be spent with mom, dad and Ellie at home in Trousdale County.

"He was a little angel that was sent here for such a short time," said Ashley.

Last week, the family said Ridge was staying with a babysitter when he choked on a pacifier.

"We just kept saying, 'We don't need anything. We just need prayers. We need prayers,'" said Ashley.

After days at the hospital, Ridge passed away.

"What I want everyone to know is cherish your kids," said Colby. "He was my right-hand man, I guess you'd say. He was definitely my best friend."

Colby said his son's death is being investigated, and the family can't talk about it further for right now. He said they only want answers to how this could happen.

While they wait, Colby and Ashley said they're overwhelmed by the kind words from their community and from people in other states and countries.

"You can never thank those people enough in something this tragic," said Ashley.

The couple said those kind words could not mean more to them and to a very good big sister.

Donations can be made in the family's name to Wilson Bank and Trust.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family.


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Forrest Sanders is an award-winning reporter, videographer and editor at News4.

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