HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Family, friends, and loved ones gathered to honor the life of 2-year-old Kason Grady Jr. His family says he will be remembered as a joyful soul who left a lasting impression on those he came across.

His family nicknamed him Sonny, similar to the sun which described his bright smile that his great-grandmother Linda Hartley said lit up a room.

“The joy that he gave us that he showed us in his little short life was so powerful,” Hartley said.

The toddler was cheerful and his family says “Sonny” always had a gracious presence.

“He didn’t have too many crying days he always was a happy child,” Hartley said.

The candlelight vigil was full of heavy hearts as family and friends came together to honor the toddler who had just turned two last Fall.

His uncle R.J Robinson says it will take a collective to get through this difficult moment.

“It’s going to take our family to come together to pray, to forgive, to understand, and love each other through this,” Robinson said.

The candle lighting was followed by a balloon release with neighbors and friends joining the family in support.

Investigators say Grady died as a result of a beating. Authorities say an Athens man was charged in connection with his death.

A funeral for Kason Grady Jr. is set for Friday, May 26th at 11 a.m. The service will be held St. Luke Christian church located on Sparkman Drive in Huntsville. The family invites the entire community to come out and show their support.