Ohio diner owner dies hours after Obama visit

ByABC News
July 6, 2012, 6:54 PM

— -- This morning, President Barack Obama ate a breakfast of eggs, bacon, wheat toast and at Josephine "Ann" Harris's restaurant in Akron, Ohio. She met the president, and embraced him. A few hours later, she was dead. The Akron Beacon Journal said Harris, 70, apparently succumbed to a heart attack.

Obama, winging his way back to Washington aboard Air Force One, telephoned her daughter, Wilma Parsons, according to White House press secretary Jay Carney.

"The president expressed his sorrow and his condolences at the very sad event.  He was honored to meet her this morning and passed on his feelings that the whole family is in his thoughts and prayers today," Carney told reporters. Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki read a statement from the campaign's Ohio director, Greg Schultz.

"We're extremely saddened by Ann's sudden passing this morning.  Our sincere condolences go to Ann's family during this difficult time. As a small business owner, a mother, a grandmother, a great-grandmother, and a friend of many throughout the community, Ann led an exceptional life and will be missed by all who knew her. Ann and her family are in our thoughts and prayers."

"I'm sure this was her highlight," Frankie Adkins, Harris' sister, told the Akron Beacon Journal. "She loved Obama."