At nearly 7 years old, James Mattioli, who his family called ‘J’, loved to sing at the top of his lungs, ham sandwiches from Subway and being his father’s “mini-me”.
“James was especially thoughtful and considerate, always the first to welcome guests at the backdoor with a hug and his contagious smile,” an obituary for the first grader said.
James loved doing crafts with his older sister, Anna, who was helping her brother advance his reading skills.
And the first grader was caring, recently foregoing a gift for himself so he could use the money to buy his grandfather a mug for Christmas.
James’ mother, Cindy, is a native of Sherrill, N.Y.
“It’s a terrible tragedy, and we’re a tight community,” Mayor William Vineall told the Utica Observer-Dispatch. “Everybody will be there for them, and our thoughts and prayers are there for them,” he added.