INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — An Independence, Missouri councilwoman, who was just re-elected one week ago, has died.
The City of Independence said At-Large Councilmember Karen DeLuccie, 64, died Tuesday afternoon following a battle with lung cancer.
“Councilmember Deluccie was a staunch advocate for the citizens of Independence and committed to a balanced budget,” City Manager Zach Walker said. “She never failed to ask a question and always looked for the answers her citizens demanded. We will miss her sharp wit and dedication. Our thoughts are with her husband, daughter and son in this difficult time. We will share details on services and memorials honoring her service to the community when they are available.”
Councilmember Deluccie asked to share this with the public upon her death.
“I have asked my family to release this statement to you after my death. As you may know I was diagnosed with cancer on February 7 and completed both chemo and radiation treatments over the following several weeks. I was determined that I would recover my health, enabling me to continue my service to Independence, the city I love. A second scan was conducted on April 7 which showed that the treatments had not been effective in battling my cancer. I am so sorry that I am unable to continue to work with all of you in making Independence an even better place to live and raise a family.”
Funeral services have not been announced at this time.
“Karen had a passion and a deep love for the City of Independence and the citizens she represented,” her husband Joe O’Hara said. “She wanted all to know her heartfelt sadness which she wanted me to express to all of you. Sadness in not being able to continue to represent her constituents in her capacity as a member of city council.”
“I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and Councilwoman Karen DeLuccie,” Mayor-Elect Rory Rowland said. “She will leave a void in our community that will be hard to fill. Karen was always committed to the people of Independence and always did what she believed was right. There are very few people who can match her integrity, her honesty, and her work ethic on issues impacting our city.
Rowland said DeLuccie was one of the few people who really encouraged him to get involved in local politics and ultimately run for Independence mayor.
“I truly believe I could not have done this without her early support and I hope that I can honor her legacy by fulfilling my promise to provide honest, clean government to the residents of Independence,” he said.
Deluccie was the tie breaking vote ensuring there would not be a full forensic audit on the misuse of public funds at the Independence Police Department