Obama gives grandmother final aloha - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Obama gives grandmother final aloha

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Al Langdon Al Langdon

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU- (KHNL) Honoring his beloved toot. President-elect Barack Obama and family spent the third day of their vacation, remembering the life of Obama's grandmother Madelyn Dunham.

Dying of Cancer, Obama left the campaign trail and rushed to be by her side to be one last time in October. She died at the age of 86 just days before her grandson won the presidency. Obama says his toot raised, loved, and helped him become the man he is today. Almost two months after Dunham's death, the family pays their final respects.

Just as the wind, emotions run strong at Lanai lookout. President-elect Barack Obama and family arrive around 3:30pm after an earlier private service for "Toot" at a Nuuanu church.

Secret Service security keeps a close watch as Obama, oldest daughter Malia and sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, among others, make their way down to the rocky shoreline. Together, they spread the ashes of Madelyn Dunham. It's the same spot Obama paid tribute to his mother last August. She died in 1995.

From politicians to everyday people, hundreds turned out at the National Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl at Dunham's public service in mid-November.

"Sunset, twilight, beautiful music, warm prayer and great recollections," said Bank of Hawaii Chief Executive Officer Al Landon.

But Tuesday afternoon, it was time for family to pay their own respects. Side by side, the Obamas reappear from near the water. Reflecting on a life lost, but not forgotten in this peaceful and private family aloha.

During his presidential campaign, Obama frequently mentioned Dunham, who eventually appeared in TV ads during the democratic primaries.

Obama has been quoted saying dunham poured everything she had into him. He said she did things like put off buying a new dress for herself so that he could have a better life.