AKRON, Ohio – A restaurant owner who hosted President Barack Obama for breakfast on Friday became ill and died hours later.
Josephine “Ann” Harris, of Copley Township, died of natural causes late Friday morning, said forensic investigator Jason Grom, with the Summit County medical examiner’s office. No autopsy was planned.
The 70-year-old Harris became ill at home after the Obama visit. Grom said she went into cardiac arrest in the ambulance while en route to a hospital.
Several hours earlier she had hugged Obama when he showed up at her Ann’s Place restaurant for breakfast.
The Akron Beacon Journal interviewed Harris after the president’s visit and described her as ecstatic.
Obama spent about 20 minutes at the restaurant and ordered two eggs over easy, bacon and wheat toast. At the suggestion of a waitress, Obama added grits to his order.
“What’s going on?” Obama asked after getting off his campaign bus and entering Ann’s Place.
He shook hands as diners paused from their plates of pancakes and eggs.
“Keep up the good work,” one diner called out.
“Thanks for joining me,” Obama said as he sat at the corner of the counter.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said Obama later called Harris’ daughter Wilma Parsons from Air Force One to express “his sorrow and his condolences. It was a very sad event. He was honored to meet (Harris) this morning and passed on his feeling that the whole family is in his thoughts and prayers.”