CHARLOTTE, N.C.--The day before the presidential election, Barack Obama
and his half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng said Madelyn Dunham, their grandmother passed away after a battle with cancer. Obama traveled to Hawaii to visit with his ailing grandmother on Oct. 23 and 24. The woman Obama called "Toots" died at her Honolulu home near 4 a.m. eastern time. Obama was told near 8 a.m.
The campaign released a statement about Mrs. Dunham's death shortly after his campaign plane touched down in Charlotte, where Obama is en route to a rally, the second to last in his campaign.
Obama lived with maternal grandparents for a time during high school, while his mother remained in Indonesia.
The statement, released jointly from Obama Soetor-Nig 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. 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.