As President Obama was hitting the links in Maryland on Saturday, many members of his family were in Boston, mourning the death of the woman he once called Auntie, according to a report by the New York Times.
Zeituni Onyango, the half-sister of the president's father, died in a South Boston nursing home this month. Her family gathered her things at her nearby apartment and discussed raising money to send her body back to Kenya, the report said.
"Mr. Obama helped pay funeral expenses and sent a condolence note, Ms. Onyango's family members said, but the president did not attend, as he was golfing," the report said.
Mr. Obama spent about four hours Saturday on the green at Andrews Air Force Base with Marvin Nicholson, Walter Nicholson and Joe Paulsen.
The Times describes the Obamas' relationship as "complicated," and their distance has widened by both oceans and politics.
"He leads his life, and I lead my life," said Mr. Obama's half-brother Malik Obama, who "wouldn't say" he and the president had stayed close. "Because even my other brothers and sisters, they are all over the place ... Right now, I would say that things have changed."
From the report: "As president, Mr. Obama has kept his distance from, and even failed to acknowledge, members of this eclectic clan. In the time-honored tradition of eccentric presidential relatives, the assorted Obamas have faced deportation and drunken-driving charges, started Obama-branded foundations and written memoirs.
"Now, as the president has embraced the family more culturally near to him — the half-sister on his mother's side with whom he remained close, the Ivy League-educated brother-in-law he bonds with over basketball, the mother-in-law who lives upstairs — the Obamas are often relegated to the farther branches of his family tree."
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