Supervisor Gayle Uikema was 73 when she lost her battle with ovarian cancer. She was in her 16th year as a county supervisor and had previously spent 19 years on the Layfayette City Council.

Her battle with cancer had already pushed her towards retirement and she had announced she would not be seeking reelection.

According to remarks that Supervisor Uikema gave after being named the Layfayette citizen of the year, she had been serving in some form of government since grade school when she was involved with student government. She entered elected life in California local government in 1978 when she was elected to the city council. Her goal was to break down gender barriers. She then went on to serve four terms as mayor.

From the Contra Costa Times:

Contra Costa County Supervisor Gayle Uilkema died Saturday morning with her family beside her as she lost her two-year battle with ovarian cancer.

She was 73.

Uilkema, who had served 16 years on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors and 19 years on the Lafayette City Council, planned to retire from public service at the end of the year. As her illness progressed, she had begun missing meetings in December before announcing earlier this year she would not seek re-election.

Read the full article here.