A heart-wrenching incident occurred near the Obamas’ family home on Martha’s Vineyard as Tafari Campbell, former President Barack Obama’s personal chef, tragically drowned.
The Massachusetts State Police confirmed that “the paddleboarder whose body was recovered from Edgartown Great Pond on Monday was 45-year-old Tafari Campbell, hailing from Dumfries, Virginia.”
Tafari Campbell had been a cherished member of the Obama family, having worked for them during their time at the White House and beyond.
According to reports, he was on a visit to Martha’s Vineyard when the accident took place, and unfortunately, the Obamas were not at the residence at that time.
In a poignant statement, former President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle Obama, expressed their deep sorrow and described Tafari Campbell as an integral part of their family.
They fondly remembered him as a talented sous chef during his White House days, passionate about food and its ability to unite people.
“Over the years, he had become much more than an employee; he was known for his warmth, fun-loving nature, and extraordinary kindness that brightened up their lives,” the statement reads
Tafari Campbell’s disappearance was first reported by a fellow paddleboarder, who witnessed him struggling on the surface before he went under and did not resurface.
The search began immediately but was paused late on Sunday.
Fortunately, on Monday, state police, utilizing sonar from a boat, were able to locate Campbell’s body around 100 feet (30 meters) from the shore, at a depth of approximately 8 feet (2.4 meters).
Regrettably, he was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the incident.
Tafari Campbell leaves behind his wife and twin boys, and his loss is mourned not only by the Obamas but also by all those whose lives he touched with his culinary skills and warm-hearted personality.
His untimely passing has left a void in the hearts of many who admired and cherished him.