Local Women Say Houston’s Death Hits Close to Home

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — A magnificent voice that went silent way too soon: that’s how some Clevelanders are remembering Whitney Houston.

It was not the usual chatty Saturday at the Bangs Salon and at the Transformers Hair Studio in South Euclid. Customers and stylists were fixed on the television, watching the funeral of Whitney Houston.

Fans who felt a closeness to Whitney through her music were feeling her loss. “I loved her. It’s like she was a relative or something. It’s sad, really sad. And, I’m still numb,”  Houston fan Janay Jenkins said.

Shenise Thomas feels the same way. “It was really crushing to hear when she passed because, it was like I was personally routing for her as a sister, a sister in Christ,” she said.

Stylist Nichole Young said the funeral service was a great tribute to Whitney. “They could not have done it better for Whitney. What a great way to be sent off, with you know, praises going up to God,” she added.

Yolanda Hilliard Lucas, of the Lucas Funeral Home in Garfield Heights, says she has fond memories of Whitney Houston. She says she is friends with the Winans and that’s how she met the singer. “For a while, I grew up in the Detroit area. So, for several years, I went to Winans concerts and Whitney would come in and sing and bring the house down,” Lucas said.

She has a photo taken the night she sat next to Whitney at dinner. “And, at the time, I was in college. It was so exciting just to hear all of her stories and her talking. It was just kind of surreal at that moment–meeting her,” she added.

But, Lucas says this is a day of mourning and remembering Whitney’s life. “She’s brought so much joy to everyone–to the world, and her family and friends. She was definitely a giver,” Lucas added, remembering Whitney.