Ohio Restaurant Owner Dies Hours After Serving Breakfast To The President

Sad news from the campaign trail:

PITTSBURGH — The 70-year-old proprietor of a diner in Akron, Ohio, died hours after serving President Obama breakfast Friday morning, according to a published report.

Josephine “Ann” Harris, owner of Ann’s Place diner, died of a heart attack at 11:18 a.m. after suffering fatigue and being taken to a nearby emergency room, the Akron Beacon Journal reported. Obama had arrived at the restaurant at 8:06 a.m., and he departed at 8:42 a.m., according to a press pool report.

Harris had reportedly hugged Obama when he stopped in for a plate of bacon and eggs at the start of the second day of the president’s bus tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Obama phoned Harris’s daughter, Wilma Parsons, from Air Force One on his way from Pittsburgh, where he ended the bus tour, back to Washington, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

“The president expressed his sorrow and his condolances,” Carney told reporters on the plane ride. “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.”

The Beacon Journal reported that Harris adored Obama, quoting her sister Frankie Adkins as saying that meeting him Friday was “her highlight.”

Life is short, my friends.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Herb says:

    “the campaign trial” Freudian slip?

    Sad story, but also kind of cool in a weird way. Not only lived long enough to see four generations of her family (the Beacon Journal story has a pic) , but got to meet the president. Ran her own restaurant. I’d say that’s a life well lived.

  2. Gah

  3. Life IS short….so why are you on-line? I’ll stop before I

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Life is short, my friends.

    My very good friend and brother Walter Meuhrer died 2 weeks ago. He lived life well, very well indeed. The miles of virgin cave he and I witnessed together are uncounted. His last words to me were, “Don’t worry, I’m not done aggravating people yet.” A week and a half later he was gone.

    “What boots it to repeat
    How time is slipping ‘neath our feet.
    Unborn tomorrow, dead yesterday…
    What matter they, if today be sweet.”

    Omar Khayyem

    A toast, to Walter, and all others who lived life well.

    Tears run down my cheeks even now.

  5. @OzarkHillbilly:

    If we’re quoting Omar Khayyem:

    “The moving finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all thy piety nor wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
    Nor all thy tears wash out a word of it.”

  6. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    The Obama campaign suggests, in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to the Obama campaign in her name.

  7. rodney dill says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Excellent.

  8. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The Obama campaign suggests, in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to the Obama campaign in her name.

    Why would they do that? ACA killed the poor guy.

  9. rodney dill says:

    Stiffed her for the bill.

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @rodney dill: So, Rodney… the people who didn’t like my comment. Do you think they didn’t hear about the “donate to Obama in lieu of a wedding gift” beg, or want to pretend it never happened?

  11. Lib Cap says:

    The GOP had it wrong… It’s “death pancakes”.

  12. Davebo says:

    Rodney and Jenos, a match made in somewhere I guess.

    It’s a caption made in heaven.