Restaurant owner dies hours after Obama visit

President Barack Obama talks with patrons of Ann's Place in Akron, Ohio, Friday, July 6, 2012. From left are, Jim DiFalco, a Goodyear worker from Tallmadge, Ohio; Rick Nixon, a Goodyear worker from Norton, Ohio; the president; and Keith Ross, a Goodyear worker from Norton, Ohio. Obama is on a two-day bus trip through Ohio and Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Rick works in the mix center at the Goodyear plant in Akron. Has worked for Goodyear for almost 20 years and is the Political Coordinator for the UAW Local 2L in Akron. Jim was first hired at Goodyear in 1980. He was laid off in 1986, then re-hired in 1992 and has worked there ever since. His father and grandmother both worked for Goodyear. Keith has worked at Goodyear for 14 years where he makes NASCAR racing tires.
July 7, 2012 7:01:59 AM PDT
A restaurant owner who hosted President Barack Obama for breakfast on Friday became ill and died hours later.

Josephine "Ann" Harris 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 a 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."

The breakfast stop kicked off the second day of a two-day campaign swing from the Toledo area to Pittsburgh.


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