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Westside community mourns loss of a leader known for promoting service

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Members of the Westside Community Action Network are mourning the loss of their director, Lynda Callon. Friends, family and those who worked with Callon at the Westside Can Center said she is a woman who had many gifts.

"She can assess you and identify a gift and encourage you to go and use your gift to serve or to go do something proactive with your life," friend and co-worker Chato Villalobos said.

Callon died Sunday night after she lost her battle with uterine cancer. The cancer quickly spread to her lungs, taking her life a month after being diagnosed.

A man, who wants to be referred to only as Fernando, said Callon helped him change his life, quit drinking and get off the streets.

"Lynda was to me many things," Fernando said. "She was a mother figure, she was a friend."

On Monday, friends and family of Callon gathered to reflect and remembered Callon with a display of pictures and candles.

"That's all she ever wanted for this community," Villalobos said. "You know, people, all of us just to chip in, to make this a self-sufficient, self-promoting community."

Fernando said Callon cared about everyone at the Westside Can Center as if they were her own children.

"The rule of the house was to take care of the kids," Fernando said. "So she took care of all of us."

On Friday at 10 a.m. there will be an official day of celebration of Callon's life at the Westside Can Center. Her friends and family say it will be a fiesta and is open to the public.

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