Windsor police will never forget senior Const. John Atkinson.

He was killed in an exchange of gunfire seven years ago at Pillette and Seminole Street.

Monday marked the annual celebration of his life.

Atkinson's widow, Shelley, says the feeling of the ceremony doesn't change from year to year.

"It's a very comforting feeling, because, to me, this is John's family and they're always so welcoming and so supportive of us.  So it's like coming home to family," she said.

Atkinson is among the names of the 253 Ontario police officers ever killed in the line of duty. Their names are on a monument at Queen's Park in Toronto.

"John Atkinson, truly a hero in life, not death," Windsor Police Chief Al Frederick said.

Atkinson also left behind two children.

Shelley Atkinson says she tells their two kids how much their father loved them and how proud he was to be their dad.

"He loved life," she said. "He looked at life as his glass was always half full, in an industry where he could have very well seen his glass as half empty."