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Dunham service set for tomorrow


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POSTED: Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hawaii residents are invited to a tribute service tomorrow for Madelyn Payne Dunham, President-elect Barack Obama's grandmother.

Dunham, 86, died two nights before her grandson became the first African-American and the first Hawaii-born person elected president.

The service, being arranged by Borthwick Mortuary with the consent of the family, will be held at 5 p.m. tomorrow at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, where her husband, Obama's grandfather Stanley Dunham, is buried.

“;We're helping the family,”; said funeral home manager Jerry Andrade. “;It's a time for the people of Hawaii to pay tribute to Mrs. Dunham and to share memories.”;

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Dunham's name to any worthy organization in search of a cure for cancer. Dunham died after battling cancer for years.

Andrade said the family will not attend tomorrow's memorial, but they gave the mortuary approval to hold a public service.

Attendees can expect to see Dunham's friends and former co-workers from the Bank of Hawaii. Dunham was among the first female vice presidents for the bank.

“;We don't know yet what the exact program will be. It's still in the planning stages,”; Andrade said. “;I think it's going to be a very dignified tribute service.”;

Obama is expected to return to Hawaii next month for a private service. He has made annual visits to the islands to see Dunham, including almost daily stops to her apartment during a summer visit.