Media were not allowed into that private memorial for Madelyn Dunham in Hawaii yesterday. But as her grandson, Barack Obama, has said before, Dunham's life, from Kansas to Hawaii and in between - that five-year stopoff in Mercer Island and Seattle - was a life most of the country lives. "She was one of those quiet heroes that we have all across America. They're not famous. Their names are not in the newspapers, but each
and every day they work hard. They aren't seeking the limelight. All
they try to do is just do the right thing."
Obama once called her the major influence in his life. "She's the one who taught me about hard work. She's the one who put off
buying a new car or a new dress for herself so that I could have a
better life." His grandfather, Stanley Dunham, an easy-going furniture salesman who used to work at Second and Pike in Seattle, was buried in a Hawaii cemetery in 1992. The ashes of his widow Madelyn were scattered off the shores of Lanai Lookout on Oahu yesterday, where Obama scattered the ashes of his mother, Mercer Island High School grad Stanley Ann Dunham, 13 years ago.
Madelyn Dunham succumbed to cancer at 86 on November 2. If she was the wise grandma Obama describes, she died knowing what the rest of us learned two days later.