Though they were born almost 6 1/2 years apart, brothers Jason and John Edwards had a bond so strong that you rarely would see one without the other.

They were so tight, in fact, that they were raising their families within a few houses of each other.

"When you'd see Jason, you'd ask, 'Where's John?' " the Rev. Dave Reeson said Wednesday at a funeral Mass for the two. "When you'd see John, you would ask, 'Where's Jason?' They were so close that you could flash the porch light to signal the person in the other house."

The Mass celebrating the brothers' lives was held at St. Columbkille Catholic

Church in Papillion. The Edwards brothers — Jason, 41, and John, who just turned 35 — were killed Friday at the home of their sister's ex-boyfriend, Kenneth Clark. The men were at the house, near 140th and Miami Streets, to help their sister, Julie Edwards, 42, move out.

Clark later held Julie Edwards hostage and kept law enforcement officers at bay until Friday night. Clark was found dead in the house from what authorities said was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The brothers' bodies were cremated. The urns were together on a table near the church altar.

Reeson said the brothers were known throughout the parish for their lively personalities. He described them both as "rambunctious" men who liked to joke around and "had good hearts."

When Jason lost a bet and owed someone money, Reeson said, he managed to leave his wallet in the car. And John could dismantle and reassemble any piece of equipment around.

More than 850 people filled the sanctuary to capacity. The Mass also was shown on video screens set up in the basement for those who couldn't find a seat.

Reeson described the men as dedicated husbands and fathers who were involved in their kids' activities.

Reeson called their deaths a tragedy, but he said family members were grateful for all the support they have received. They are determined to overcome hate and anger over what happened, he said.

Jason Edwards is survived by his wife, Tonya, and daughters Kayla and Amara.

John Edwards is survived by his wife, Jenni, and sons Caleb, Carter and Connor.

Reeson said the loss of the brothers is painful, and they are deeply missed. But he offered encouragement.

"For Jason and John, their deaths are not the end of their stories," Reeson said. "This life is pretty darn good, but there is life after this one."

Contact the writer: 402-444-3100,

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