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Obama's grandma died

by James Denison / November 3, 2008 5:40 AM PST
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(NT) Eerie timing. May she, and we, be in peace....
by Steven Haninger / November 3, 2008 6:06 AM PST
In reply to: Obama's grandma died
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If he wins tomorrow night....
by Josh K / November 3, 2008 6:13 AM PST
In reply to: Obama's grandma died

....the victory will be bittersweet to say the least. They were very close. My condolences to him and his family.

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From a Hawaii contact.............
by Mac McMullen / November 3, 2008 9:00 AM PST
In reply to: Obama's grandma died

Obama's grandmother dies of cancer

(Unknown if this is from a news release, no source provided)

The maternal grandmother of U.S. Sen. Barack Obama died of cancer early this morning, on the eve of the presidential election, in the Honolulu apartment where she raised him.

Madelyn Dunham died between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. Hawaii time, with Obama's sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, at her side. Media outlets reported that Obama learned of the death shortly after 8 a.m. today in Jacksonville, Fla., which would be soon after 3 a.m., Hawaii time.

Dunham ? whom Obama called "Toot," after the Hawaiian word tutu, or grandparent ? turned 86 on Oct. 26. Her birthday occurred just after Obama abruptly changed his campaign plans to make a 22-hour trip to visit Dunham in Honolulu.

Before his visit, Dunham had already voted for her grandson in early absentee voting.

"It's very, very sad, because we all hoped that she would be able to sustain her strength through election day itself," said U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, (D-Hawaii), a family friend. "She passed away confident that he would succeed. ... Maya and Barack want to assure everyone that she died peacefully knowing what the situation was and content that she had given everything to him. His strength, his calm demeanor that characterized him in these last weeks and last days ? this quiet strength that come across so clearly ? that comes from his grandmother, there's no question about that. It's her great legacy."

There are no immediate plans for a funeral, but it will probably be a private gathering in Honolulu that Obama would attend, Abercrombie said.

"That is not the main priority right now," Abercrombie said.

Abercrombie said that Soetoro-Ng and Obama had spoken to one another about their grandmother today.

In a statement this morning, Obama and Soetoro-Ng said: "It is with great sadness that we announce that our grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, has died peacefully after a battle with cancer. She was the cornerstone of our family, and a woman of extraordinary accomplishment, strength, and humility. She was the person who encouraged and allowed us to take chances. She was proud of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and left this world with the knowledge that her impact on all of us was meaningful and enduring. Our debt to her is beyond measure.

"Our family wants to thank all of those who sent flowers, cards, well-wishes, and prayers during this difficult time," according to the statement. "It brought our grandmother and us great comfort. Our grandmother was a private woman, and we will respect her wish for a small private ceremony to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you make a donation to any worthy organization in search of a cure for cancer."

Soetoro-Ng said in a follow-up statement: "My grandmother made her home on these islands since 1959, and she loved the people of Hawaii. We want to thank Tutu's friends and extended 'ohana for the outpouring of aloha over the past few weeks. We received cards, letters, and gifts that helped lift her spirits, and we are very grateful for everybody's support."

The Honolulu medical examiner's office said it did not handle the case, suggesting that Dunham's death was an "attended death" monitored by a physician.

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