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Erin Napier Remembers Her Late Friend Who Died from Cancer on “Home Town”: ‘A Real Artist’ (Exclusive)

Erin Napier Remembers Her Late Friend Who Died from Cancer on “Home Town”: ‘A Real Artist’ (Exclusive)

Erin and Ben Napier's newest client is the cousin of Mandy Buchanan, a Laurel, Miss.-based artist who died in 2022

<p>Taylor Hill/FilmMagic</p>

Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

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.

Suzie, her husband Scott and their son Seth must choose whether to stay in their current residence or use their renovation budget to update her parents' house, which is next door.

In the exclusive sneak peek above, Erin admires the many paintings of Buchanan’s that hang on Suzie’s walls.

“My whole life, I’ve loved Mandy’s work,” Erin says. “Mandy was a good friend of mine. She was a real artist. I’ve included her paintings in so many of the houses that we’ve done.”

<p>HGTV</p> Erin and Ben Napier work with Suzie, her husband Scott and their son Seth in Sunday's 'Home Town.'

HGTV

Erin and Ben Napier work with Suzie, her husband Scott and their son Seth in Sunday's 'Home Town.'

Suzie then explains that her cousin, a fellow Laurel, Miss. resident, was her “lifelong best friend.”

She adds that her mother, Nan, died in January 2023, shortly after Buchanan’s death from cancer in November 2022.

“In less than three months’ time, I’ve lost two of the most important people in my life,” Suzie says. “The fact that we get to be a part of something as special as this has really helped.”

Related: Ben Napier Channels Indiana Jones in Reno that Feels Like ‘Tunnel of Doom’ in Home Town Sneak Peek (Exclusive)

As highlights of Buchanan’s colorful floral works are shown, Erin tells Suzie, “Well, I’m excited to use your vast collection of Mandy’s work, no matter where it is.”

<p>HGTV</p> Erin Napier's late friend Mandy Buchanan had appeared on 'Home Town.'

HGTV

Erin Napier's late friend Mandy Buchanan had appeared on 'Home Town.'

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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. I would see her work hanging in the most well appointed homes and hear her name, not knowing she was a local girl who lived just down the road from me.”

Erin went on to say that she was “blessed” to get to know Buchanan after Erin's own graduation from art school.

Related: Watch Erin and Ben Napier Revisit the College Where They Fell in Love on Home Town (Exclusive)

“She was effervescent. She bubbled and glowed. She and her joyful, energetic art were inseparable: she painted her plucky spirit into every piece," Erin wrote. "The world lost her to cancer yesterday, and while we felt that grim moment coming for a few days, the loss of her light and love in this city and all the ways she volunteered and made people feel special is so profound.”

“We couldn’t prepare for this kind of sadness,” Erin continued. “Laurel will never be the same. She is an icon. And Lord how we will all miss her. Please pray for her husband, sons, mama and friends who were like a family.”

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