Wife of Obama private chef Tafari Campbell ‘forever heartbroken’ over his Martha’s Vineyard paddle boarding death
- Tafari Campbell, 45, died in an accident on Edgartown Great Pond on Sunday
- He worked in the White House then for the Obamas as their private sous chef
The wife of the Obama’s personal chef who died on Sunday in a paddle boarding accident at their Martha’s Vineyard estate says she will be ‘forever heartbroken’ about his death.
Tafari Campbell died in an as yet unexplained accident on the pond behind the Obamas’ home on Sunday evening.
He had gone out paddle boarding on the calm water last night, and was seen falling off the board before becoming completely submerged. The pond is around 8ft deep.
A 911 call made at 7.49pm said described him as wearing all black and not wearing a life jacket.
Tafari Campbell died yesterday in an as yet unexplained accident on the pond behind the Obamas’ home. He had gone out paddle boarding on the calm water last night, and was seen falling off the board
Tafari’s wife shared her tribute on Instagram on Monday morning
Pictured: Edgartown Great Pond. The scene of the desperate search for Campbell was launched after a paddleboarder went missing in the water off Martha’s Vineyard on Sunday
In an Instagram post this morning, Tafari’s wife, Sherise, said: ‘My heart is broken. My life and our family’s life is forever changed.
‘Please pray for me and our families as I deal with the loss of my husband.’
The Obamas paid tribute to him as a ‘beloved part of their family.’
They were on the island on Sunday night at but not at the residence at the time of the accident, according to their office.
‘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.
‘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 that he’s gone.’
It remains unclear whether Campbell suffered any kind of medical episode while on the board.
Staffers at Edgartown Meat and Fish Market also paid tribute to the chef, whom they remembered as a ‘wonderful guy’.
Tafari with his wife, Sherise. The couple have 19-year-old twin sons
Campbell was touted by the Obamas as one of the best chefs in the White House
‘We saw him last week, he was such a nice and happy guy,’ one staff member told DailyMail.com.
‘He didn’t seem to live here but would be here a lot in summer and fall, and bought various things.
‘He was nice and quiet, it’s awful to hear that’s happened to him.’
The employee added Campbell ‘had been coming here for a few years now.’
‘When he came in he would chat to us about what he was cooking up,’ the staffer said.
‘One of the things he would always special order is juice — orange juice and strawberry lemonade.’
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