FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The family of a United States Marine from Fort Wayne killed in a NATO exercise crash late last week said Capt. Matthew J. Tomkiewicz “lit up every room with smiles and laughter.”

Tomkiewicz’s family issued a statement through Southwest Allen County Schools on Tuesday, just days after the 27-year-old Homestead graduate died along with three other Marines when their Osprey aircraft crashed in a Norwegian town in the Arctic Circle during a NATO exercise.

Capt. Matthew J. Tomkiewicz

“Matthew provided the most selfless, patient and calming presence,” the Tomkiewicz family said in a statement Tuesday. “He was his wife’s best friend, protector and peace. He lit up every room with smiles and laughter – bringing humor with his quick wit.”

The statement continued:

“He was humble, dedicated and proud to serve his country. He was a husband, a son, a brother, a dog-dad but also the best friend to so many… The void we hold in our hearts will be glued back together with the shared memories of friends and family as we begin to accept our new reality. We send our deepest condolences to all the families involved in this awful tragedy. He was without a doubt the world’s biggest Purdue and Colts fan and would want us to say  – Boiler Up and Go Colts!”

Tomkiewicz joined the Marine Corps in June 2015. At the time of the crash, he served as an MV-22B Osprey pilot with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 261, Marine Aircraft Group 26, and 2d Marine Aircraft Wing stationed on Marine Corps Air Station New River, North Carolina.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Also killed were fellow Marines Capt. Ross A. Reynolds, 27, of Leominster, Massachusetts; Gunnery Sgt. James W. Speedy, 30, of Cambridge, Ohio; and Cpl. Jacob M. Moore, 24, of Catlettsburg, Kentucky.

WANE 15 is working to learn when Tomkiewicz’s remains will be returned home. The Marine Expeditionary Force said previously the deceased would be reunited with their families through dignified transfer in the coming days. Funeral arrangements are pending.