Visitors: Whitney Houston Fans Take Over N.J. Cemetery, Block Others From Visiting Own Loved Ones

Fairview Closed Sunday For Star's Family; Now Come Worries It Will Become Zoo

WESTFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — There is now outrage over Whitney Houston’s burial. Visitors to the New Jersey cemetery said Monday they were blocked from the graves of loved ones.

Meanwhile, Houston’s fans began visiting her final resting place, reports CBS 2’s Emily Smith.

Photos: Whitney Houston’s Funeral

Photos: Whitney Houston Remembered

A steady stream of fans stood before Houston’s grave site. A huge pile of flowers, balloons and notes on were left on the spot where her grave stone will soon be placed. It was an emotional day for those who miss Houston and the memories her love songs trigger triggered all kinds of feelings.

“I lost my wife and I know what it feels like. I miss her very much,” one mourner said.

As the crowds got larger Monday police had to put up barricades around Houston’s grave site. Until then, fans had to show their love and support by leaving mementos at a memorial in Newark or by lining the streets to see the gold hearse carrying Houston’s body to Fairview Cemetery in Westfield.

“I love her. I love her music and I am honored it is open to the public, so we are here today to say goodbye,” Rowena Maesta of Westfield.

“I was just on my way to work and I thought I would just stop in,” a Scotch Plains woman named “Doreen” told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg.

She was the first  non-family member to pay her respects at the grave, Sandberg reported.

“Well, it’s a beautiful cemetery and she was an icon of New Jersey, so I think it’s a proper place for her to be,” Doreen said.

But some who are overwhelmed by grief and loss of their own loved ones are worried Fairview Cemetery will turn into a zoo. It was closed all day Sunday for Houston’s family. On Monday it was crowded with fans.

“My wife always says to her mother ‘I will see you tomorrow.’ She came on Saturday. She wasn’t allowed to come on Sunday. That is not right,” Jeff Latawiec said.

“I passed by here. It was all blocked off. You couldn’t get in.”

Privacy for Houston’s family is well deserved — everyone agrees — but to shut out others for an entire day meant some had to miss marking an anniversary of their own loved one’s deaths.

CBS 2 tried to reach out to cemetery officials, but did not get a response right away.

The 48-year-old singer died Feb. 11 in California just hours before she was to attend a pre-Grammy Awards party.

“She deserves to be at a place where it’s nice and calm for her. Finally for once she doesn’t have to deal with all the craziness,” a man named Jason told Sandberg. “It means a lot to me. It puts warmness in my heart.”

Please leave your thoughts on Houston’s passing in our comments section below. 

  • Amtracmarine

    I kinda think that this is a BS story. My grandmother is buried there and my mother and brother visited the grave on Sunday. They had no problems getting in. This sounds like the BS Beyonce Baby Drama story last month.

  • Jerseysue

    Fans have a right to visit Whitney Houston’s grave site period.
    Did they keep fans of Elvis from Graceland?
    Anyone can visit Jim Morrison’s grave site in Paris. I did.
    I mean get real. Whitney Houston put the renovated slum of Newark NJ back on the map.
    And who ever even heard of Westfield NJ, except for us ‘Jersey-ites’?
    This town ought to be honored and relishing in their new distinguished claim to fame.
    She’s not some unknown’s mother or relative. Are there really ‘outraged’ people who visit their mother’s grave there everyday? I mean get a life, move on for ***’s sake!
    Never mind all the revenue being brought to local businesses where fans will buy gas, coffee, eat,etc., ‘in this economy’….
    I know the town of Westfield. I grew up in Cranford-2 towns away.
    The only other claim to fame Westfield has is of being the site of the ‘John List’ murders in the 70’s. Google that horrific time in Westfield’s sleepy history. We used to drive by the List house all the time as teens just to get the ‘creeps’. Nobody ever stopped us.
    People who live there think they’re ‘all that’. It’s very ‘caucasian’. Some residents feel ‘entitled’ and are snobby. People move there to get away from places like ‘Newark’ & Irvington NJ.
    ‘Stick that in your hat’ Westfield-ians. You make me sick! Deal with it.
    If I weren’t a civilized person…I’d like to see fan’s tear that snobby town apart, brick by haughty brick. You don’t deserve to have the honor of having a beloved icon rest in your community-

    • Amtracmarine

      First Ms. Jerseysue,Graceland isn’t a cematary. It’s a Tourist destination
      and a National historic landmark. You have to pay to visit. So blow that part of your argument out your butt. Secondly, She didn’t put NWK on the map. What about Faith Evans (born 1973), singer-songwriter,Wyclef Jean (born 1972), artist, rapper, ex-member of the 90s hip-hop group,Ice-T (born 1958), actor and rapper to name just a few of Newarks famous residents
      And thirdly, Cranford (no hood by any streach) is no better than Westfield,it just has less wealth so stop “hatein . Don’t post BS, this is from a former Vauxhall/Westfield resident.

  • shay hill

    Remember Elvis Presley. He was a drig addict and he got a big memorial and people still flock to Graceland.

    • Amtracmarine

      Do you even know what Graceland is you stupid buyy-puppet?? It’s a turest destination that people pay to visit not a cematery where other peoples relitives are buried. What the “F” are you talking about??

  • Disrespected & aggrivated in NJ

    They had NO right to close the cemetery. I was there on Monday to visit my mom not Whitney. I was asked by a cop to move my car while i was standing at my mom’s grave site. The cemetery isn’t closed for everyone elses burial. What makes her more special then anyone elses family member? Absolutely NOTHING!!! I understand that she was a daughter and mom but there are others buried there too. I have a lot of family members there that I go to visit on a regular basis and to be chased away by police and strangers is both disrespectful to me and my family. People are suppose to be able to see there relatives whenever they want for some that is all the have. How do you tell them Sorry you can’t get in someone else is more important than them. Soooo Wrong.

    • Amtracmarine

      My Grandmother is buried there and my Mother and Brother had no problem visiting there on Sunday.

    • Jerseysue

      Get a life.
      Move on.
      Whitney Houston is a beloved icon and the fans who miss her deserve their chance to pay their respects. How many times have you done that with your relative already?
      Do you not have something more useful to do with your time?
      You should be ashamed of yourself-do your crying over your mom in the privacy of your home.
      Go see a grief therapist. That would be a better use of your time. Invest in ‘yourself’. Remember your mom fondly and make her proud with what you do with your life. Do you really think she’d want you spending your life with daily visits to her grave? Think about it.
      I’ve lost people I love. I take out their pictures and smile at the precious memories of them. I think that’s all that they would wish for-to be remembered in their loved one’s hearts…

  • Heather K.

    They didn’t cover the veterans march on Washington, but they WOULDN’T stop covering whitney s funeral? What the heck is wrong with America?


    Anyone leaving negative comments- shame on you for not respecting a human being that has died. You negative people talk more about it than us “Whitney fans”. She was an American. She was human. She was beautiful. When you negative people die you are just mad that noone will care about you…..

  • Calonzap

    Unless a 24-hour guard is put there to guard her grave site, the brain-dead idiots hanging around the cemetery will probably dig up her casket and make off with her corpse.

    • Phelixp

      Sadly someone might consider that…

  • Phelixp

    I loved Whitney Houston’s music too, was a huge fan of hers but seriously people getting mad about not being “included” in the funeral or viewing! That is disgusting, give the family a break as it was pointed out so clearly “the family SHARED her with the public for almost 30 years, it’s now the families time to have her back”. Get over it people, mourn at home, plant a memorial tree in your own yard to visit when you are all lonely for her. She was a daughter and a mother she belongs to them not the world.

  • Rod Anders

    A buncha crack hos. Wudda you expect?

  • ouldbollix

    one less dumb bama voter….

  • Lawrence

    Whitney lived her life her way. Not God’s way. She never started a foundation or anything that I know of, like many who had the resources she had. Her life was NOT a testimony to Christ, but to selfishness and excess. Even her last night she was PARTYING drinking and taking prescription meds. Not the behavior of one who is in recovery. Her supposed “faith” was a said faith, not one that transformed her life. Yes she had a beautiful voice, but her life spokes VOLUMES as to what she was about. I recall that song, “:The Greatest Love of All. ” I t appeals to the self-centered. LEarning to love OTHERS and GOD is more important to “learning to love yourself” Most poeple love themselves TOO MUCH.
    The Lord Jesus Christ said that if we love Him, we keep his commandm,ents. Being a Christian is more than words… BY THEIR FRUITS YOU SHALL KNOW THEM.

    • Phelixp

      Matthew 7:1-3
      Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgement we judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in the brother’s eye , but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

      People like you that claim to be a “christian” yet judge others YOU give christians a bad name. The Bible clearly states that GOD will be the one true judge of our lives when that day comes. He did not bestow power over us to judge what others do or have done with their lives.

      John 8:7
      …He that is WITHOUT sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her…

      Suppose you think YOU are WITHOUT sin? No wonder our world is turning it’s back on God when people like you claim to be an example for him. You should be ashamed!


    Whitney was a great singer and a beautiful (on the outside) lady… But she was a drug addict.. My grandson asked me about her and I told him that she died because she was drinking too much alcohol and doing drugs and that killed her…. I told him the same thing when michael jackson died. nothing to be proud of…….
    What cracks me up is that the cemetary did not THINK this would happen.. I thought about it when they buried her there sunday…
    common sense just does not exist anymore….
    Anyway RIP – whitney — you had the world by the tail and blew it — as so many of these singers, actors & athelets do… to bad.

  • the dude

    It’s refreshing to see ultraliberal Westfield show it’s true racist colors. Were this Tony Bennett’s burial site, highly doubtful mourners would be treated this way. These people should be happy to have someone that famous at their cemetary.

  • David

    Is “cack is wack” on her headstone?

    • ouldbollix


  • CWS442

    This idolization of a crack-head has gotten completely out of control. What’s the deal? She was given the gift of life and spat on it. Sure she could sing and she was beautiful, but she CHOSE drugs over everything she was given. It’s pathetic and a sad commentary about the lives of those who are worshiping her.

  • Carl

    I am someone who has always considered Whitney Houston to have an enormous God-given talent and engaging personality. (I played her first album until the people in the next apartment complained.) But I do not understand or agree with the idea of turning this woman into a martyr. Her life spiraled into tragedy because of decisions that SHE MADE. She is certainly not the first person to have done so, and won’t be the last. Should we forget her talent and the ways she may have positively affected people’s lives? No. But neither should we put her on a pedestal and thereby minimize the negative impact she had (especially on young people) when she willingly chose a lifestyle of substance abusive.

  • phuc it

    i have more important things to think about then this strung-out junkie! nobody said anything when she was useing now everyones coming out of the woodwork to worship her!! buy some kfc,watermlon,grape soda an forget about it!!!

  • The Clintidote

    They’re just rooting around like truffle pigs, looking for leftover drugs.

  • PotatoTED

    Man, I am sure snobs of Westfield are really having problems with the darker element sitting around the graveyard. Have fun.

  • joe

    I like it when crackheads die.

  • Smidgen

    How about we all realize that this lady was a drug addict who sang about children being our future and then abandoned her’s for a crack pipe. She is not worthy of any accolades ad certainly not worthy of lowered flags. Governor Christie: Shame on you.

  • Truth Monger

    Who is going to have to clean up all those KFC bones, grape bottles, and empty stamp bags when the pigs leave?? The cemetary will end up looking like a typical ghetto housing project………………………

  • Boo Hoo Hoo

    “Occupy cementary”, a new movement for morons with nothing to do.
    Take a bath and go find a job

  • smash44

    Oh Give it up already!

  • carol

    Idol worship, pure and simple. Now Whitney is in the hands of God and will be judged by Him and not her fans. I did certainly enjoy that beautiful voice but her season is over now and I certainly hope our younger generation have learned a lesson in this untimely death.

  • Jenna

    Lost all respect for her, many years ago when I heard she Smoked Crack.
    That is about as low as you can go.

  • Tommy

    She was an icon…..She deserves a better resting place than this.

  • Aj

    Arthele (whatever her name is) said on tv that “I’m sure this christian woman is in Heaven right now.” LOL, apparently a lot of people don’t have the slightest clue of the definition of Christian! Tired of hearing about this strung-out sad excuse of a parent and all the jackass comments putting her on a pedestal. Only in Hollywood….

    • carol

      You are right about no one knowing whether she is in heaven right now or not. By reading the first few chapters of Matthew in the Holy Bible one will find that not all that cry ” Lord, Lord, will enter in”. Also, I never heard Rev. Winans preached her into heaven or hell. Good job, Rev. Winans.

  • Greetings From Aunt Jemima's Plantation

    She was a classically trained street negroe. You can take the negroe out of the street, but you can’t take the street out of the negroe. Go back to the plantation and flip dem flapjacks!

  • Maud St. James

    We saw this same kind of hysterical loonie reaction when Selena (I think that was her name) died, and I just don’t get it. The families should be allowed to grieve, of course, but people who never knew the woman personally? They just listened to her music? It makes no sense.

    I cannot understand why the death of a woman who was not at all admirable, a junkie and God knows what else, should bring forth such a flood of vulgar overreaction. Yes, she sang some pretty songs. So do a million other singers. Has the whole world gone mad?

  • dh

    Whitney Houston lovers……grow up, wipeoff your tears and get a life.

    • belle


      • Ryan

        My thoughts exactly. The economy is collapsing. We have a marxist in the white house. The middle east is about to explode. I suggest you idiots start preparing for what is coming and stop fawning over a dead drug addict.

    • Don't worship false idols

      To all you dummies that are worshiping at the altar of Whitney, do you think she really gave a damn about YOU? Think about that, take a deep breath, and move on.

    • patriot_whitney

      > It’s one thing to criticize civilians who don’t support a bogus mission; but it’s not even rational to criticize a flag-tribute to any American, particularly one who was an entrepreneur not dependent on any kind of entitlement.

      Wall Street is at the bottom of all this demagoguery in the name of profit and power.
      I hope everyone is as patriotic when “they come to scapegoat you or worse”.

    • Mr. Ashamed

      This country is in deep trouble. This makes me sick, the way so many people are acting like she meant everything to them. The fact that people would line up to go stand and stare at her grave is sick. Would any of these people ever go down to Arlington National Cemetary to pay respect to real heroes that died for their freedom?? Probably not. What a sick bunch of human beings. And I use the term “human” loosely.

    • Tanya Lyman

      stop being haters she was a wonderful woman and she did think of us. All that is acting that way is over doing it yes but y’all acting like this is stupid. And you must not have too much of a life if you are hunting down websites to spread your hate. And if you want to get technical idol worshiping is wrong but hate and being ugly is no better. I love Whitney Houston she is human just like y’all are and we all mess up so I bet the people who are condemning her is a bunch of dope addicts and drunks who do nothing all day except judging other people y’all are pathetic. At least Whitney knows someone is getting a break from y’all mouth because you are too busy on her.

      • 2inthehat

        Is English yalls second language? The problem here is the morons “taking over” the cemetary. Im pretty sure the “haters” you wrote about here dont give two medium sized farts about a dead has-been/crackhead. Please. Yall need to git your head straght.

        • Brent

          Uh huh, know whum sayin?

      • 2inthehat

        Is English yalls second language? The problem here is the morons “taking over” the cemetery. Im pretty sure the “haters” you wrote about here dont give two medium sized farts about a dead has-been/crackhead. Please. Yall need to git your head straight.

      • Chris Mackey

        Tanya, my dear, Whitney didn’t think of her daughter, so why the hell would you believe she thought of YOU? She spent her life and money snorting and smoking drugs. She and her equally detestable husband didn’t give a damn about anything or anyone, except the next “great” high! Oh, yeah, mama Whitney and daddy Bobby did a bang up job on that poor daughter. 18 yrs old, and she’s already a drug addict. Try thinking about that the next time you say she was a “wonderful woman!” A wonderful woman wouldn’t have done that to her daughter!

        • alexander s

          If you are a drug addict and destroy all the lives around you,,, does that make you a great person?? If you are rich enough to hire and get all the help you need that is available on this planet and still won’t do something about it,, does that make you a great person???? especially, with all the support you need and still you won’t get help and die from drugs,,,, does that make you a great person ?? if you won’t get better for YOURSELF and die from drugs,, does that make you a great person?? If you won’t get better and leave a CHILD alone in a world in which a MOTHER is all important, for the sake of drugs,,,, does that make you a great person????? Is having a voice like an angel the only qualification needed for being a great person after doing some much damage to so many?? or are we to judge a persons greatness by the CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTER??? It seems greatness can be bought at a much lower price all the time…

    • joey

      -she was a crack ho end of story .concentrate on getting rid of this president thats more important .

  • uglydawg

    SOOOOOO tired of hearing about this strung out, over the hilll, pathetic person who in death, as is typical, is painted with a very forgiving brush by the media. She had everything and blew it. If we put as much sympathy into people who are in Very Real struggles and losses, we would be a much more fair society.

    • notafan

      I know someone whose cousin is in one of the biggest rock bands thats been around for more than 20 years and he never abused drugs. He built a nice home for his folks, paid for his younger siblings college eduction and bought them each a home as a wedding present, donates a bundke to charities, is married to his first and only wife and lives on an estate. You can hit if big in the music business and not implode if you choose not to. Ms Houston downfall was her own creation and that she spent her daughter’s childhood in a drug induced haze says all I need to know about the woman. Get a life folks.

    • BugsBunny

      If she was a white conservative woman the media would be painting her as a criminal who deserved what she got.

      • Success Ain't Easy

        As a black American, I agree with that statement. Sad how blacks get a pass in this country and it’s only compounded by the idiotic “First Black President.” While I won’t participate in negative comments concerning Whitney, I certainly realize the favoritism shown towards blacks and call out the deep hypocrisies in our nation.

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