Barackand Michelle Obama's personal chef, who used to cook for them at the White House, is dead ... after drowning in water near the couple's Martha's Vineyard estate.
Tafari Campbell's body was found by divers Monday after going missing Sunday night in water that backs up to the Obama's compound ... this according to police in Massachusetts.
In a statement, Barack and Michelle say Tafari was a beloved part of their family and their hearts break over his death.
The Obamas are remembering Tafari as a talented sous chef who was "creative and passionate about food, and its ability to bring people together" ... and as a "warm, fun, extraordinarily kind person who made all of our lives a little brighter."
Edgartown Police Department
Police say they received reports Sunday of a missing paddleboarder, and a search of the waters near the Obama estate ended Monday morning when divers recovered Tafari's body from Edgartown Great Pond.
Cops say Tafari's body was found 100 feet from shore and 8 feet below the surface.
The Obamas were not home at the time of the incident, according to police, and an investigation into Tafari's death is underway.
Tafari is survived by his wife, Sherise, and their twin boys, Zavier and Savin. He was 45.