A 70-year-old owner of an Ohio restaurant where President Barack Obama ate breakfast Friday died just hours after meeting him, the Akron Beacon Journal reported.
Josephine “Ann” Harris, the owner of Ann’s Place in Akron, Ohio, died of an apparent heart attack after being rushed to the hospital.
According to the newspaper, Harris had been thrilled that the commander in chief paid a visit to her family-owned restaurant during a campaign swing.
obama & the ann’s place crew! twitter.com/taylornashay/s…
— Taylor NaShay (@taylornashay) July 6, 2012
“You know it’s great,” Harris said Friday morning shortly after Obama left. He ordered eggs, bacon, wheat toast and, at a waitress’s suggestion, grits.
Harris said she hadn’t known Obama planned to visit until earlier that morning.
“He treated us like one of the brothers,” she said. “He hugged all of us and…got his picture taken with all of us.”
The Journal described Harris as having “been ill for some time” and said she complained of fatigue and a tingling feeling after Obama left. She told the newspaper during an interview she wasn’t feeling well, then returned home before paramedics rushed her to the hospital as she went into full cardiac arrest. She died about 11:15 a.m., the Summit County Medical Examiner’s Office said.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said the president called Harris’ daughter to offer his condolences after hearing the news.
“The president expressed his sorrow and his condolences,” Carney said, according to The Hill. “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.”