the owner of the Whigham Funeral Home in Newark said Tuesday that there will be no public memorial at Newark’s Prudential Center, the sports arena that Houston’s family had discussed as a possible venue. The funeral service will be by invitation only, Carolyn Whigham said, reflecting the family’s desire to keep the memorial more personal.
Houston was born in Newark and began singing as a child at the New Hope Baptist Church, where her mother, Grammy-winning gospel singer Cissy Houston, led the music program for many years. Cousin Dionne Warwick also sang in its choir.
This weekend’s Grammy Awards saw a number of tributes and we expect this funeral will be a beautiful celebration to an incredible talent who will be sorely missed.