Owner of restaurant dies following Obama visit
July 6th, 2012
03:54 PM ET
2 years ago

Owner of restaurant dies following Obama visit

(CNN) - President Barack Obama called the family of Josephine "Ann" Harris from Air Force One to express his condolences after Harris died Friday not long after his visit to the Akron, Ohio restaurant she owned.

Harris, 70, passed away in the emergency room at Akron General Medical Center at 11:18 a.m. ET, the chief investigator for the Summit County Medical Examiner's office confirmed to CNN.

No official cause of death is known at this time.

Obama talked to Harris' daughter, Wilma Parsons, to tell her he was honored to meet her mother Friday and to pass on his thoughts and prayers, according to White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.


President Barack Obama talks with customers at Ann's Place on Friday morning. Pool photo.

The president visited the restaurant, Ann's Place, Friday morning for breakfast at the start of the second day of his bus tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania.

While Harris was not in the restaurant Friday morning, she drove up to the diner to meet with the president and take a photo outside.

– CNN's Brianna Keilar and Justin Lear contributed to this report.


Filed under: Ohio • President Obama
soundoff (48 Responses)
  1. Squigman

    Republican Spin:
    President, kills another hard working citizen. Will the carnage never cease?

    July 6, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Tinfoil hat time!

    July 6, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  3. Namejkane fl SEND THE THREE TIME LOSER romney HOME AND MAKE IT FOUR.

    Republican bafoons will try to blame president Obama for it . I'm very sorry for your loss ,we DEMS care .

    July 6, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Sorry guys, but regardless of which side you're on, this was a person who died...a fellow human being. We should all have the tact to keep it off limits in terms of using it for arguments and insults and snark.

    July 6, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  5. cali girl

    My prayers and thoughts go out to Josephine's family. May you rest in peace.

    July 6, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. beevee

    The media should quickly move forward and not mention her passing again. Pl. leave it to the family members to pray for her eternal journey. Neither political party should evermention it again.

    July 6, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. PJ/TX

    @Sniffit: You are so right! I'm not sure it even needed to be reported here.

    July 6, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    Very sad to hear. My thoughts and prayers are with her family.

    July 6, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. Debbie

    R.I.Paradise Miss. Ann.....

    July 6, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    I wish her soul rest in peaceful world...

    July 6, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  11. Rudy NYC

    [ ] <-a moment of silence

    July 6, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  12. vic , nashville ,tn

    R.I.P Ann Harries
    I seen the photo in H post great picture

    July 6, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. Just a thought

    In 5-4-3-2-1 let the GOP/Tea-Crank hate begin. God Bless you Ms. Ann

    July 6, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. Sonya from NC

    And this too will be President Obama's fault....please let this family deal with their loss and do NOT mention this story again on a polictal ticker...Thank you CNN.

    July 6, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  15. samammari

    Did she get pics with the pres?? Hello!! RIP

    July 6, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. Captain Awesome

    I'm telling you, this guy has bad joo joo. Heartfelt prayers to her family and loved ones.

    July 6, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  17. Tr1Xen

    The thought of four more years was probably too much for her to bear.

    July 6, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  18. Investment Advisor

    Thankyou Sniffit.

    July 6, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  19. Gurgyl

    Sorry to hear. May her soul rest in peace. Obama12.

    July 6, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. marty

    God bless Josephine and her family.

    July 6, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. Phil Thomas

    some of the people on this message board are Sad, a woman lost her life and the fact that it happened the day after the President of the US dined at her establishment is probably more of a gift from God than anything else

    July 6, 2012 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  22. 1twinsfan

    Not many people have a chance to really meet a sitting President, more than just a ripe line handshake. I hope her life was rich and full. Condolences to friends and family.

    July 6, 2012 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Valentina

    Wow! That is something! The president is now "spreading" death in Ohio. Last time he ran, he was "spreading wealth" as I recall.

    July 6, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. Stu Nahan

    Thats okay the "pres" just gave amnesty to a million illegal aliens to take over her business, to promote diversity and make the community stronger by sending even more trillions out of our economy to mehico

    July 6, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. normajean @ verizon ,com

    I do believe that the president, hearing of this womans death would quietly contact the family himself . I really think he has that kind of dignity and heart.. Bless her....I'm not sure i'd still be standing if I had the chance to meet Barak Obama!!!

    July 6, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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