Champaign vigil set to mark death of Houston
CHAMPAIGN — A candlelight vigil with song and speakers is scheduled for Thursday to mark the death of singer Whitney Houston.
Seon Williams, owner of Williams Memorial Funeral Home, 1203 N. Market St., C, is organizing the vigil, which will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the northwest corner of Bradley Avenue and Market Street.
The 48-year-old Houston died Feb. 11 at a hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif., just hours before she was set to perform at producer Clive Davis' pre-Grammy Awards bash. Officials say she was underwater and apparently unconscious when she was pulled from a bathtub.
After an autopsy Sunday, authorities said there were no indications of foul play and no obvious signs of trauma. It could be weeks, however, before the coroner's office completes toxicology tests to establish the cause of death.
Houston's funeral will be Saturday in Newark, N.J.
"Whitney's from our era," Williams said. "We've lost so many different people from our era ... that suddenly passed away," he said. "I thought it would be kind of nice if we gel as a community and just share this moment together."
Sherrika Ellison will lead those in attendance in song.
Scheduled speakers include state Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, Champaign Mayor Don Gerard, former county board chairwoman Patricia Avery, Pastor Thomas Miller of the New Life Church of Faith in Danville and Pastor Lekevie Johnson of Jericho Missionary Baptist Church in Champaign.