Obama Pays Tribute to Late Grandmother

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

HONOLULU, Dec. 23 -- President-elect Barack Obama and his family joined close friends Tuesday to pay tribute to the woman he called his "rock," his maternal grandmother, who provided stability in his young life and made possible his rise to the nation's presidency.

The Obamas attended a private memorial service for Madelyn Dunham, who lived in a modest apartment here and died of cancer at age 86 two days before the presidential election.

The service was held at the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, a two-story house converted into a place of worship. The service was closed to the media.

The family and some friends later scattered Dunham's ashes at an ocean overlook called the Lanai Lookout. Fox News reported that it was the same overlook from where Obama tossed a lei into the ocean in August in memory of his mother, who died in 1995.

During the campaign, Obama frequently mentioned Dunham and the lessons she taught him.

-- Philip Rucker

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