September 19, 2020

Ohio diner owner dead hours after serving Barack Obama


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A restaurant owner who served US President Barack Obama breakfast on a campaign stop has died hours later.

Josephine Harris, 70, who owned Ann’s Place in Akron, Ohio, was taken to hospital after complaining of fatigue and a tingling feeling.

She went into cardiac arrest en route and was pronounced dead shortly after 11:00 EST (15:00 GMT).

Mr Obama arrived at the restaurant at about 08:30, ordering two eggs “over easy”, bacon and wheat toast.

The Summit County medical examiner’s office said Josephine Harris had died of natural causes and there would be no autopsy.

In a statement, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Mr Obama called her daughter from Air Force One to express “his sorrow and his condolences”.

“He was honoured to meet [Ms Harris] this morning and passed on his feeling that the whole family is in his thoughts and prayers,” Mr Carney said.

The Akron Beacon Journal reported that Ms Harris had hugged Mr Obama when she met him at the restaurant.

“I’m sure this was her highlight,” Frankie Adkins, her sister, told the Journal. “She loved Obama.”

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