A community newsletter serving New Melle, Defiance, Augus​ta, Marthasville, Dutzow​​ a​nd surrounding areas.

To Our Family, Friends and Community


How to even begin? January 19, 2024, is a day we will never forget. We are completely lost and devastated. This tragedy not only struck our family extremely hard, but it struck our entire community. It is easy to see that we are not the only ones grieving for the loss of Jameson and Julian. We know the community saw how the boys had a way of quickly becoming friends with and grabbing everyone’s heart; their charm was irresistible.

We want to thank everyone for all the love and support that has been given and continues to be given. It has been absolutely astonishing. We are completely humbled by it all. When you are always a person who sets out to help everyone else, it is a very hard pill to swallow to be on the receiving end, but know it is greatly appreciated.

There are many people who deserve a huge thank you, but there are a few who deserve some extra appreciation. My son James Turpiano Jr and Erin Madigan; my parents, Dannie and Linda Napier; my sister, Kristie Todd and brother-in-law Dan Todd; and my brother, Dannie Napier Jr. and sister-in-law Deb Napier for being there for us every day and getting us whatever we need. Thank you to the Defiance Merchants Association and its board members, Dan Tripp (Secretary); Mike Koehneman (Treasurer); and Don Simon (Vice President) for jumping into action as things were unfolding that day and getting the GoFundMe started immediately and for being the governing committee overseeing it.

We would like to express our gratitude to the Hoffmann Family of Companies, Don Simon, and Kim Altmansberger for their swift action in providing us with temporary housing, sparing us of the trouble of finding a place to stay. They met our immediate needs that day and have continued their support.

There are other close community members/ friends that we want to give a special thank you for going so above and beyond to make sure we have what we need. They are Anastasia Adelman, Dodie Dierkes, Angela Stephans, Jen Simpson, Kim Altmansberger, Lucy Bass, and Tom and Veronica Yeager. You have all been amazing. Constantly being our rock.

Again, a huge thank you to everyone who has shown support and love to us, there are far too many to thank personally. Thank you to all the neighbors, firefighters, police officers, and first responders who risked their lives that day. We will forever be grateful for the remarkable community we have. Much love to you all.

Jenn and Vern Ham, and Evelyn Turpiano