Mourners celebrate lives of slain Hudson relatives

Mourners in Jennifer Hudson's childhood church listened Sunday 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.

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.

Mourners hugged and greeted one another Sunday while music played on the chapel speakers. Large pictures of Jason Hudson and Julian King stood at the front of the room, and relatives took turns recounting stories.

No one has been charged, but Julia Hudson's estranged husband, William Balfour, has been named a “person of interest.”