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Obama attends a memorial service for his grandmother

December 24, 2008|ASSOCIATED PRESS

HONOLULU — President-elect Barack Obama gathered with family and friends Tuesday for a private memorial service for the grandmother who helped raise him.

Madelyn Payne Dunham, known to her friends as Toot, died Nov. 2, two days before Obama won the election. She was 86.

Obama did not speak to reporters at the small home that had been converted into the First Unitarian Church in the neighborhood of Nuuanu.

Aides said Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and her husband, Konrad Ng, also were present.

After the ceremony, Obama drove to cliffs east of Honolulu. He and about 20 members of his family climbed over a stone wall and onto rocky ledges to scatter Dunham's ashes at Lanai Lookout.

Obama earlier this year left flowers at the same cliffs in memory of his mother.

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