Friends, family vow to honor legacy of Affton couple killed in duck boat tragedy

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - Loved ones are making sure that the Affton couple killed in the tragic accident at Table Rock Lake are being remembered.

Rose Hamann and Bill Asher played an active role in a veterans group, the Ron Bozikis Memorial Organization.

“We’re going to go on. Because that’s what they would have wanted. We give to the veterans,” Rhonda Forbes said. The organization focuses on providing assistance to veterans and their families.

Forbes had known Hamann for nearly 50 years. The two graduated from Cleveland High School in south St. Louis.

Hamann and Asher were killed when a duck boat capsized at Table Rock Lake last Thursday night. Seventeen people died.

Russ McKay, a close friend of the couple, spoke through tears as he described the importance of honoring them.

“I can only hope that having the memorial that we are going to have. And our benefit, that we’re going to have. It’s going to be in their honor, in their name,” he said.

Hamann’s son, Joe Strecker, told Fox 2 he is grateful for the support he has received.

“I’ve got so many people. So many people have said their prayers,” Strecker said. “It’s just overwhelming.”

That support is unconditional, friends said.

“We all love him. And we support him. And if there’s anything at any time of the day 24-7 – we’ll be there for him. Just like his mother was for us,” Albert St. Clair said.

Strecker said he won't be making funeral arrangements for his mother. Instead, he'll host a celebration of life for both his mother and Bill Asher at a future date.

Meanwhile, US Senator Claire McCaskill wants changes and new laws to improve the safety of the boats. She is seeking input from the US Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board on the design and construction of the vessels.