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Whitney Houston remembered by local fans

Special Photo
A display in honor of Whitney Houston was set up at Lemon Funeral Home in McDonough last week, so fans of the singer could sign a memory book, and offer remarks about the singer, whose funeral was Saturday in New Jersey. She was buried on Sunday.

Special Photo A display in honor of Whitney Houston was set up at Lemon Funeral Home in McDonough last week, so fans of the singer could sign a memory book, and offer remarks about the singer, whose funeral was Saturday in New Jersey. She was buried on Sunday.

Southern Crescent fans of Whitney Houston signed a memory book at Lemon Funeral Home, in McDonough, that will find its way to members of the singer’s family.

The 48-year-old singer and actress was found "underwater and unconscious" in the bathtub of a Beverly Hills, Calif., hotel room on Feb. 11.

Houston’s funeral was Saturday at her family’s church, New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J. She was buried near her father, John Houston, at the Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, N.J. He died in 2003.

An estimated 300 people poured into the Lemon Funeral Home to sign a memory book for Houston. The book was part of a display that also featured an enlarged photo of Houston. The singer’s music played in the background, as her fans left sympathy cards for the woman who gained fame as a singer, actress and producer.

“People, who didn’t even know each other, sat and talked for hours about Whitney Houston,” said Shannon Lemon, a funeral director at Lemon Funeral Home.

Houston’s songs consistently were in the top 10 on Billboard’s pop charts. Her movie soundtracks topped the charts as well. She starred in three movies, “The Bodyguard,” “The Preacher’s Wife,” and “Waiting to Exhale.” Her fourth movie, a remake of “Sparkle” is scheduled to be released in August. She was also an executive producer on the “Sparkle” project.

“It was good to see people come out to pay their respects to Whitney,” said Lemon. “One lady came and signed the book, and said she had to leave to go and get her family, her mom and other relatives, to sign the book.”

People were scheduled to view the display, and sign the memory book on Wednesday and Thursday. But, due to the enormous response, the funeral home had to extend the time frame into Friday morning, to accommodate the mourners.

“So many people responded, they would call and ask if it was too late to sign the book,” said Lemon.

The Houston memory book, sympathy cards, and the Henry Daily Herald article about the funeral home’s gesture were sent via federal express to the Whigham Funeral home in Newark, N.J., where Houston’s funeral services were conducted, according to Dana Lemon, another funeral director at Lemon Funeral Home.

“I was pleasantly surprised at the community’s response,” said Dana Lemon. “I included a letter to Carolyn Whigham, the owner and director of the funeral home.”

Dana Lemon said she got the idea for the Houston display from a funeral home in Dallas, Texas. Dana Lemon, along with her sister, Wanda Lemon, and nephew, Shannon Lemon, created the display.