Some sad news on the food front today. President Obama was in Akron, Ohio on Friday and while in town he stopped into Ann’s Place for breakfast. The matron and owner of Ann’s Place, Ann herself, died a few hours after serving the President breakfast, of an apparent heart attack.
Josephine “Ann” Harris, 70, complained of “fatigue and a tingling feeling” shortly after Obama took pictures with her family and left her family diner. She was taken by ambulance to Akron General Medical Center, and by 11:18 a.m., she was pronounced dead.
Harris met, fed, and took pictures with Obama just after 8:00 a.m., when he stopped in unannounced for breakfast. A Beacon Journal reporter noted that Harris was “ecstatic” earlier in the morning when the paper spoke to her about meeting with the president.
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.
While in the restaurant the President ordered breakfast, spoke with several Goodyear employees who were invited to eat with him, and chatted with the several generations of the family that runs Ann’s Place.
Later Friday, after being informed of what had happened after leaving, Obama called Harris’ daughter to offer his sympathies.
“The president expressed his sorrow and his condolences,” White House Press Secretary Carney said, per a White House pool report. “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.”