Prince Funeral: 'Family Can Be Together Forever'

Large crowd in Suwanee attends emotional ceremony for Griffin and Jake Prince, who were killed in the June boating collision on Lake Lanier.

There were tears, laughter and memories -- usually within seconds of each other -- Tuesday in Suwanee as family members, friends and others attended the emotional funeral ceremony for Griffin and Jake Prince.

And there was a lot of talk about family and spirituality as the Prince and Hansen families were among those attending services for the brothers, killed in a June 18 boating collision on Lake Lanier.

"Family is the perfect eternal organization," said Gary Hansen, one of the boys' grandfathers, at the ceremony at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Suwanee Dam Road. "Truly, family can be together forever."

Indeed, the cover of the ceremony program carried the inscription, "Our family is forever."

Also speaking at Tuesday's ceremony, which began at noon and ended about 1:45 p.m., were Jeff Humphrey, a family friend, and Suwanee Police officer Wes Edwards, an uncle to the Prince youths.

Michael Prince Jr., Tara Hansen Prince and Ryan Prince sat near the pulpit. After the ceremony, they and select family and friends left for a private graveside service and burial.

The Prince brothers, however, were recalled as being very different in personality: Jake, 9, was "an open book ... Griffin was a secret," recalled Humphrey, who knew Tara Hansen Prince, the boys' mother, from North Springs High.

In fun, Humphrey recalled that Jake once left a taco in the back of his car "for several weeks. ... It was a small reminder of Jake."

Of the introverted Griffin, Humphrey said that "texting was invented for Griffin. ... He was painfully shy and reluctant." But Humphrey said that one of Griffin's teachers said he had "a great smile to go with a great heart."

Hansen, the grandfather, talked in more spiritual tones about his grandsons.

"The miracle in this," he said, "is that God was able to use these events to bless us and increase our faiths."

He added that the families have made a pledge never to speak of Griffin and Jake in the past tense.

"I still have 16 grandchildren, and Ryan is still the big brother."

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