That Thomas girl lives with laughter

Marlo Thomas

WESTFIELD, N.J. -- Whitney Houston was laid to rest Sunday at a brief private ceremony in New Jersey, the end of a weekend that saw the pop star's family and friends gather at a star-studded funeral to mourn her loss while celebrating her career.

Fans and onlookers gathered in several places along the route the motorcade took from the Newark funeral home to the cemetery about 20 miles away in Westfield, where Houston was buried next to her father, who died in 2003.

Houston, 48, died Feb. 11 in California, hours before she was to attend a pre-Grammy Awards party. No cause of death has been determined. On Saturday, she was mourned at an invitation-only funeral at the church in Newark where she sang in the choir as a child. She was remembered by the biggest names in the music: Stevie Wonder and Alicia Keys sang, and industry mogul Clive Davis was among those who spoke, as was Kevin Costner, Houston's co-star in "The Bodyguard."

The funeral was closed to fans, who were not allowed within blocks of the church. Many came to Newark to take part in ways they could, some from as far as Miami and Washington, D.C.

Fans gathered near the funeral home Sunday morning, and some slowly ran alongside the hearse as it began the journey to Houston's grave.

Several yelled out "We love you, Whitney" as the hearse, which had a black-and-white head shot of the star in a window, slowly drove away.

Barbara Davis, 53, of Newark, said she had been waiting outside the funeral home since 8:30 a.m., hoping to get a glimpse of Houston's final trip. "To be here at her home-going is an honor and a blessing," Davis told The Star-Ledger of Newark.

Also in the crowd were Newark resident Eva Aquino and her granddaughters, ages 10 and 13. "We came here and bought all these things of her to cherish the memories," said Nalani Velez, 13, of Kearny.