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Independence council member Karen DeLuccie dies after battle with lung cancer

Karen DeLuccie.jpg
Posted at 8:09 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 11:01:49-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Independence City Council is mourning the loss of one of its long-standing members.

Karen DeLuccie, a council member at large, died on Tuesday, the city announced. DeLuccie had been on hospice for two days before her death.

According to her family, DeLuccie, 64, asked them to release the following statement to the public upon her 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.”
Karen DeLuccie

She served the city of Independence since 2014 and was reelected to the council just last week.

DeLuccie won her race for an at-large seat on the council.

She received 5,309 votes, more than any other candidate on the ballot.

DeLuccie had previously announced that she was diagnosed with lung cancer in February.

Prior to serving on the council, she was on the Independence Planning Commission for 16 years.

“Councilmember Deluccie was a staunch advocate for the citizens of Independence and committed to a balanced budget,” Independence City Manager Zach Walker said in a statement. “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.”

Prior to serving on the council, she was on the Independence Planning Commission for 16 years.

Her husband, Joe O'Hara, also released a statement regarding DeLuccie's passing:

My wife, Karen DeLuccie, passed away today, at the age of 64. She had recently successfully run for reelection to her position of City Council at Large on the Independence, Mo., City Council.

Karen had a passion and a deep love for the City of Independence and the citizens she represented. 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.

She died of cancer. The most aggressive type. Her diagnosis was on February 7, 2022. That was the day before the primary election. The following day, February 8, 2022, was election day. It also was the first time is Karen’s adult life that she was unable to vote.

She vowed to beat it. The doctors she and I consulted with were informed of her election, and each and every one of them urged her to stay positive and said that with her passion for the City she had no reason to withdraw. One of them made the comment that John McCain fought to the end in the Senate and staying positive with something she was passionate about would only help her is pushing forward with the cancer treatments.

Chemotherapy and radiation took a harsh toll on Karen. She had no idea of the rapid spread of the disease. We returned for a batch of tests after the treatments, which showed no improvement. That was the day after she won reelection for a second term. It was then that she decided to cease treatments, in order to return home with her loving family to have quality time as much as the Lord would provide her.

That time has now ended, with Karen going in peace with God the Father.

Please join us in a moment of reflection and pray upon the loss of Karen M. DeLuccie, a tremendous individual who gave more that her fair share though her devoted efforts over the past 25 years with the City of Independence. She served 17 years on the Planning Commission and 8 years on City Council. She was co-Founder of the Independence Youth Court. Member of the Independence Tax Review Board. And gave countless hours of relentless work on behalf of residents.

In addition, Karen was a top shelf Family Law attorney on the Independence Square for 40 years. She helped thousands of clients get through the most stressful legal challenges of their lives. Lawyers and fellow attorneys alike can attest to her professionalism and ethical nature. She was beyond reproach in her legal career.

God bless and keep Karen until we are reunited at the appointed time.
Joe O'Hara, DeLuccie's husband

Funeral service information will be shared when it's available.