Chicago Mourners in Jennifer Hudson's childhood church Sunday listened as the second-grade teacher of the entertainer's slain nephew read aloud from journals written by his classmates - including one who lamented that Julian King didn't live long enough to become president.
With three of Julian's classmates standing by her side, Carmen Williams of Gunsaulus Scholastic Academy remembered the 7-year-old as a smart boy who liked to tell knock-knock jokes.
"When Julian raised his hand, he had that enthusiastic light in his eyes, and he always - always - had the right answer," Williams said.
Friends and relatives gathered for the memorial service at Pleasant Gift Memorial Baptist Church on the city's South Side to listen to spiritual songs and reminisce about Julian, as well as Hudson's mother and brother, who were found shot to death late last month.
Many of those songs featured Hudson, a former "American Idol" contestant with a new album and an Academy Award, who did not attend the service for Darnell Donerson, 57, Jason Hudson, 29, and Julian. Jennifer Hudson's sister, Julia, also did not attend. Private funeral services are scheduled for today.