Hundreds Attend Funeral for Indianapolis Blast Victims

3:27 PM, Nov 19, 2012   |    comments
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Family and friends leave St. Barnabas Catholic Church, Monday after the funeral for Jennifer Longworth and her husband, John "Dion" Longworth. The Longworths were the only two people killed in the massive blast in the Richmond Hill subdivision. / Kelly Wilkinson / The Star

INDIANAPOLIS (Indianapolis Star) -- Friends and loved ones remembered explosion victims Jennifer and John Dion Longworth during a Catholic service Monday filled with tears and a few smiles.

There's no way to understand the deaths of the young couple killed by a blast that apparently started in the house next door on Nov. 10, Monsignor Tony Volz told some 500 people gathered for the funeral at St. Barnabas Catholic Church.

"Lives have been changed and transformed by this tragic explosion," Volz said. "A death like theirs makes no sense."

Jennifer, 36, and Dion, 34, died in the Nov. 10 explosion in the Richmond Hill neighborhood. The blast injured seven more and sent hundreds fleeing their homes in the night.

Investigators have yet to say what caused the blast, but officials believe natural gas played a role.

Eighty-six homes were damaged and five were destroyed, including the Longworth home at 8355 Fieldfare Way.

Jennifer and Dion were married at the altar in this church 11 years ago, Volz said. Their wedding vows were a sacred promise that tied them together until death, he said.

"God," Volz said, "has helped them live out their vows."

Jennifer Longworth was a second-grade teacher at Southwest Elementary in Greenwood. The school was closed Monday and many teachers and some students attended the funeral.

Also present were members of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indianapolis Fire Department and Mayor Greg Ballard and his wife Winnie.

Jenny and Dion loved each other deeply and cared deeply for others, Volz said.

"Let us always remember how sacred life is; how fragile life is; how meaningful life is," Volz said. "Material possessions mean nothing. What endures is love."

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