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President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama watch from the White House roof as fireworks erupt over the National Mall, July 4, 2012

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Lord, have mercy what a tragic way to go.

Tafari Campbell was a talented young chef, husband, entrepreneur and trusted friend of both President Barack Obama and forever First Lady Michelle Obama. Sadly, Campbell lost his life on Sunday when he drowned while paddleboarding in Edgartown Great Pond outside of the Obama’s in Martha’s Vineyard. According to Newsweek, his body was recovered on Monday by Massachusetts State Police.

Tafari’s heartbroken wife Sherise took to Instagram to ask for prayers and healing in the midst of a horrific life-altering loss.

For their part, the Obamas released a joint statement mourning Tafari and giving some backstory as to how he became a “beloved part” of their family as their friend and personal chef.

“When we first met him, he was a talented sous chef at the White House—creative and passionate about food and its ability to bring people together,” the couple said. “In the years that followed, we got to know him as a warm, fun, extraordinarily kind person who made all of our lives a little brighter.”

“That’s why, when we were getting ready to leave the White House, we asked Tafari to stay with us, and he generously agreed. He’s been part of our lives ever since, and our hearts are broken now that he’s gone.”

Tafari was not working at the time of his accident and the Obamas were not at home. He was visiting the area and went paddleboarding with a friend when he went under and struggled to get back to the surface.
Rest in peace and prayers for Tafari’s family and loved ones.


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