Posted by: Apostolic Oneness Pentecostals | November 3, 2008

Jennifer Hudson says goodbye to mother; American Idol winner Fantasia sings


FITTING FAREWELL: A horse-drawn carriage waits as pall bearers carry the body of Jennifer Hudson’s mother, Darnell, out of the church following funeral services in Chicago.

As the two-hour wake for her mother, brother and nephew came to an end, Jennifer Hudson approached their coffins and spent a few moments with each.

She paused at the casket of her 7-year-old nephew Julian, then moved on, gently touching the body of her mother. Composed, the 27-year actress and singer, leaned down to kiss her mother goodbye. She paused again before her brother’s casket before taking her seat.

The three-hour funeral reached an emotional peak when American Idol Season 3 winner Fantasia Barrino sang a gospel classic, “Your Grace and Mercy”. Calling the Hudsons “my family,” she walked off the stage and into the aisle where she took Jennifer’s hand and sang directly to the actress.

“I think it healed Jennifer’s soul just then,” said family friend, Lisa Allison.

The funeral ended shortly afterward and now the funeral procession is being led to the cemetery by a horse-drawn carriage.

The service comes ten days after Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, her brother, Jason, were found shot to death in the family’s South Side home. Her nephew, Julian King, was found shot in the head a few days later in a sport-utility vehicle.

After more than two hours of eulogies and scriptures, the service is continuing this afternoon with gospel music and happy memories. The Rev. Jesse Jackson and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley spoke during the funeral.

The Hudson family will be buried at Oak Woods Cemetery on the South Side.

Earlier this morning, about 200 people holding blue admittance slips started filing into the invitation-only service at Apostolic Church of God, 6320 S. Dorchester Ave.

Some fans, however, showed up in hopes of getting in and extending their sympathies to Jennifer and Julia Hudson.

“The crime wave has to stop,” said Glover Lewis, who lives in Englewood but does not know the family. “We have to stop killing each other. We have a lot of work to do.”

The funeral has snarled traffic, causing back ups for several blocks on 63rd Street and forcing CTA officials to consider rerouting buses.

Police have shut down side streets around the church to keep the news media away and give celebrity mourners a private entrance. They stopped cars and demanded tickets from anyone trying to enter the church parking lot..

On Sunday, about 100 people gathered at Pleasant Gift Missionary Baptist Church for a private memorial service. Afterward, thousands of mourners filed into the small hall, writing condolence notes on cards bearing images of the three victims.

No one has been charged in the killings, but police have called the boy’s estranged stepfather “a person of interest.”

Today, Elliott Carson parked and made his way into the long and growing line. He said he has been friends with the Hudson family since he was 10, having grown up in the same neighborhood and attended the same schools.

“I’m coming to say goodbye to another one of my friends,” Carson said, shaking his head.

Police have shut down the 6300 block of Dorchester Avenue in front of the church as the crowd grows, including a large cluster of news media with a line of cameras almost blocking access to a nearby bus shelter.



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