COLD SPRING (AP) — The four children of a slain Cold Spring police officer are struggling to imagine Christmas without their father.

Tom Decker was killed late Thursday while checking on a report of a suicidal man. His funeral is Wednesday.

Mounds of presents surround his children's Christmas tree in Sartell, but 7-year-old Jade Decker told her mother, Becky Decker, the only present she wants is to have her daddy back.

Becky Decker is divorced from Tom Decker but speaks well of him, calling him a good father and widely respected community member. She says their kids are on an emotional roller-coaster, having fun one minute then breaking down the next.

She seconded others' memories about his sense of humor, calling him a goofball who liked to watch "SpongeBob Squarepants" with his kids.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.