Family and Friends Attend Bobbi Kristina Brown's Memorial Service
By Meredith B. Kile
Family and friends of Bobbi Kristina Brown gathered in Georgia on Saturday morning for a private memorial service to celebrate the life of the daughter of singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown.
The 22-year-old died on July 26 after spending nearly six months in a coma after being found unconscious in her bathtub on Jan. 31.
Mourners gathered at the St. James United Methodist Church in Alpharetta, Georgia, about an hour and a half from downtown Atlanta for a private service. The ceremony was not a star-studded affair, but rather a gathering of Bobbi Kristina's closest family and friends. Guests arrived at the church by police escort, while fans gathered outside to pay their respects.
After the service, family and friends gathered for a private repast at the Houston family estate in Atlanta. Singer Monica was one of the guests spotted outside the church Saturday morning.
Filmmaker Tyler Perry was also in attendance at Saturday's memorial, and stepped in to settle some family drama, removing Bobbi Kristina's aunt Leolah Brown from the service after she interrupted as Pat Houston was preparing to speak.
Perry has been in close contact with the family since Bobbi Kristina was first hospitalized and helped with funeral planning and preparation. Because Bobbi Kristina never had a prom nor a "Sweet 16" party, a source close to her family told ET that her funeral would be a celebration, calling it "the Sweet 16 she never had."
A few days before the funeral, Bobbi Kristina’s ex Nick Gordon wrote an email to Bobby Brown and Pat Houston, pleading with them to allow him to attend the service.
"I loved Krissi with all my heart and I am destroyed that she is gone and I need to say goodbye,” Gordon wrote. "Krissi loved me very much and she would want me there."
The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, family, friends, and fans make donations to The Marion P. Foundation, a teen charity founded by Whitney Houston’s sister-in-law, Pat Houston. The nonprofit foundation includes the Teen Summit Academy, whose stated mission is "to reach our youth through positive events and activities as well as build lasting relationships with them that will strengthen our community and future generations."
Bobbi Kristina will be buried alongside her mother at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey on Monday.