Who died? About Erin & Ben Napiers Heartbreaking Loss (2024)

Table of Contents
About “Home Town” Loss FAQs

Publish date: 2024-05-21

About “Home Town”

If you’re unfamiliar with Erin and Ben Napier, the husband-and-wife team have been hosting HGTV’s “Home Town” since January 2016. Restoring homes in the historic district of Laurel, Mississippi, for a living, Erin and Ben are some of the best in the home restoration sector, and were first approached by the network when their work appeared in magazines such as Southern Weddings.

Erin and Ben met while studying at Jones County Junior College, and would go on to enroll at the University of Mississippi. The lovebirds tied the knot in 2008 and have since had two daughters: Helen born in 2018, and Mae in 2021.

In November 2019, HGTV announced the premiere of the show’s first spin-off, “Home Town Takeover”. The six-episode spin-off saw the Napiers take their talents to Wetumpka, Alabama, and renovate various public spaces and homes in the town. “Home Town Takeover” was renewed for a second season which was filmed in Fort Morgan, Colorado. A second spin-off, entitled “Home Town: Ben’s Workshop”, premiered on Discovery+ in January 2021.

It’s undeniable that Erin and Ben’s work speaks for itself. According to Agent Wealth Hustle, in 2023, “Home Town” was ranked the most popular and best real estate show for real estate agents to watch. Meanwhile, the couple have forged stable careers for themselves thanks to their talents, with many publications and news outlets praising their drive and perseverance to tackle even the toughest of projects.


In April 2023, the Napiers made headlines after suffering a devastating loss. Many fans were immediately curious and wanted to know what had happened: had someone close to the couple passed away?

As it happens, there was a death linked to “Home Town”. One episode featured a beautiful story of three siblings buying a home together in Laurel, Mississippi, in order to have a place to stay whenever they visited their parents. The Paulsen siblings – Pam, Jennifer, and Tom – took a liking to Erin and Ben immediately, and the feeling was mutual. All parties were equally enthusiastic about the project, and the renovation works for the Victorian manor the siblings had purchased went by without a hitch.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck when the Paulsen patriarch passed away a few days after the project was completed. It was definitely a bittersweet moment for the Paulsen siblings, as their father was one of the only links they had left to their hometown of Laurel. The final credits of the episode were a brief tribute to Thomas J. Paulsen, who was born in 1939 and died at 83 years of age.

Thomas’s obituary describes him as a sharp and witty man who loved the outdoors, flying, and motorcycles. His many interests included cooking, fishing, history, and NASCAR, and while his job wasn’t specified, the obituary confirmed that Thomas travelled around the world for work. A talented craftsman and avid reader, he is sorely missed by his family, who will be holding a memorial place on the beach in Alabama in summer 2023.

Viewers of “Home Town” were left reeling by Thomas’s death, after seeing how much hard work went into renovating his children’s new home. In an Instagram post about the project, Erin claimed that the producer of the show called it his “all-time favorite episode” thanks to its layered stories and hometown nostalgia. The renovated mansion will also be featured in a print edition of House Beautiful. As mentioned, Erin and Ben give each project their all, and no expense was spared for the Paulsens.

Some of the unique touches Erin and Ben added to the mansion included hiring Shelley Bolton, an abstract artist who was born and raised in Laurel, to create an original painting for the home. When the Paulsen sisters discovered that Shelley had painted the view of their parents’ driveway, they choked up from their sheer emotion.

As for Ben and the team at the Scottsman General Store & Workshop, they created a huge expandable round table that could fit up to ten people, seeing as the Paulsen siblings were hoping to stay at the weekend home with their children and spouses. The center of the table featured a unique star design made of wood salvaged from a basketball court at the University of Mississippi, which the Paulsen children considered especially touching, as they had all studied there.

“The whole goal of this project and the way we renovated it was to restore and return it to what it was – what wethink it was,” Erin told House Beautiful. Hopefully, the siblings and rest of the family enjoy the home for years to come, and so keep Thomas’s memory alive.

Some of Erin and Ben’s best projects include the sleek linear loft they built in a memorable season six episode. Moving away from their typical classic and cozy style, and going for an edgy and urban look, Erin and Ben helped a local architect, Michael, purchase a 1930s building for $230,000. The spacious property had room for an office on the first floor and an apartment upstairs, but Michael wanted the home to have a minimalist, sleek feel – a far cry from Erin’s usual projects.

Erin and Ben worked wonders with a generous $100,000 budget while stepping out of their comfort zone. The end result was a modern and unique space which blew away Michael and the viewers, and demonstrated the couple’s creative range. “Michael’s apartment is unlike anything else in downtown Laurel,” Erin confirmed upon completing the project. “There is nothing like this. It feels like we’re somewhere in Manhattan.”

One of Michael’s requests was for a shower to be fitted into the upstairs half-bathroom. The Napiers made the shower one of the home’s focal points, using a slatted wood wall and glass to give the shower a mid-century modern aesthetic. Meanwhile, the couple also knocked down the double doors that separated the living room from Michael’s bedroom, installing a slat wall instead. These, and other remarkable features such as a secret wardrobe, made the episode unforgettable for long-time viewers of the show.

The latest season of “Home Town” aired in late April 2023 on HGTV. For now, the network has yet to confirm an eighth season.


Who died? About Erin & Ben Napiers Heartbreaking Loss (2024)


Who died? About Erin & Ben Napiers Heartbreaking Loss? ›

Erin Napier has a personal connection to her latest Home Town client. In an exclusive first look at Sunday's episode of the HGTV series, Erin and husband Ben Napier help Suzie, the cousin of her late friend Mandy Buchanan, make a decision involving Suzie's parents' home, which she recently inherited.

How did Brandon from Home Town pass away? ›

According to his obituary, he died of natural causes. “A world shattered in a matter of minutes,” the photographer wrote. “The love of my life, my soulmate and forever date, just gone. It still feels like he's on a work trip and will be back any day now, but the reality of that is that he won't.”

What disease does Erin from Home Town have? ›

Erin Napier Suffered From a Perforated Appendix

While most people are immediately aware when their appendix bursts due to the immense amount of pain it causes, that's not the case for everyone, including Erin.

Are Ben and Erin expecting a third child? ›

In the photo, Erin, 38, wears an oversized blue sweatshirt and jeans while posing with husband Ben Napier, 40, and three of their closest friends, who also appear on the show. Five days later, the mom of daughters Helen, 6, and Mae, 2, responded to the pregnancy speculation. “Not expecting a baby.

What happened to Mandy the artist on Home Town? ›

Erin honored Buchanan shortly after her death with a heartfelt Instagram tribute that included a video of the artist during an appearance on Home Town. “My friend @mandybuchanan,” Erin began the caption. “But before she was my friend, she was a famous painter in my teenage mind: an equal with Van Gogh or Monet.

Who was the Home Town buyer who died? ›

What Happened to John Combe After 'Home Town'? Two months after the episode aired on HGTV, Erin announced in an Instagram post that John had died at the age of 70. “Though we only had the pleasure of knowing him for a few short months, we are heartbroken to tell you that our friend Mr.

What happened to the other floor guy on Home Town? ›

Eventually, Erin took to Twitter to explain what happened to the beloved flooring master. “Guys, I know y'all miss Mike. We do too! He's on a leave of absence caring for a family member with a long-term illness,” the graphic designer explained in a January 2022 tweet.

Are Ben and Erin Napier moving to Florida? ›

In February 2024, Ben Napier announced on the "The Jennifer Hudson Show" that he and his wife, Erin, “We're going to Sebring, Florida!” She added Sebring is a "beautiful lake city." The city will be the focus of season 3 of "Home Takeover."

Is Josh related to Erin on Home Town? ›

Who Is Josh Nowell From 'Home Town'? Josh is one of Erin and Ben's college friends who helped launch their Laurel Mercantile Co. business as one of the co-owners. His wife, Emily Nowell, is also in business with Erin and Ben and has been a huge part of their successful home renovation journey.

Did Ben and Erin move out of Laurel? ›

Erin and Ben currently live in Laurel with their two daughters, Helen and Mae. In addition to their 1920s cottage, they also own a second country home in Mississippi. After helping restore Laurel on Home Town, Erin and Ben can't imagine a better place to live with their girls.

Are Ben and Erin divorced? ›

HGTV stars Ben and Erin Napier have been married for 15 years. They're the parents of two young children, and they work together renovating old homes.

Do Ben and Erin have a nanny? ›

“You've got to have great grandmothers,” she said. “And we have an awesome nanny — it was my babysitter when I was little,” Erin explained, noting that “she's like family to us.” She also mentioned that she and Ben set clear boundaries when filming “Home Town.”

Why is Randy no longer on Home Town? ›

“It has been an absolute pleasure to work with a group of like-minded people who want to see not only a town, but people grow. These people have given me an opportunity to pursue a true passion of mine. I started a photography business several years ago, now it will be my full-time project.

Why was Home Town cancelled? ›

It's simple. Family comes first for the parents of two. Back in June, Erin shared the reason with a Twitter follower who asked about the possibility of a new season of Home Town Takeover in the future. "I'll be honest, the takeover life is not all that simpatico with family life," she wrote.

Why is Jonathan not on Home Town anymore? ›

Erin further commented on Jonathan's departure from the series in a November 2019 Laurel Mercantile Co. blog post ahead of season 4. “This season, you're going to meet some new folks since our project manager, Jonathan, took a new opportunity in Florida, in the town where he grew up,” the home design expert penned.

What happened to the camera assistant on Home Town? ›

Erin Napier is mourning the death of her "Camp Home Town" friend. The Home Town star took to Instagram on Thursday night to share the devastating and shocking news that their co-worker, who was a camera operator and assistant on her and husband Ben's home renovation series, died suddenly of natural causes.

What happened to Kendall's husband on Home Town? ›

Kendall and Kurt built a home together in the countryside after they wed. The healthcare professional died on December 18, 2019, at age 29 in a car accident on his way home from work. Kendall opened up about losing the love of her life in a January 2021 Laurel Mercantile blog post.

How many children does Mallory have on Home Town? ›

Mallorie and Jim are the proud parents of two daughters: Lucy and Lottie. She often shares adorable photos of her girls on Instagram along with cute selfies with Erin.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Last Updated:

Views: 6105

Rating: 5 / 5 (80 voted)

Reviews: 87% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Geoffrey Lueilwitz

Birthday: 1997-03-23

Address: 74183 Thomas Course, Port Micheal, OK 55446-1529

Phone: +13408645881558

Job: Global Representative

Hobby: Sailing, Vehicle restoration, Rowing, Ghost hunting, Scrapbooking, Rugby, Board sports

Introduction: My name is Geoffrey Lueilwitz, I am a zealous, encouraging, sparkling, enchanting, graceful, faithful, nice person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.