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Medford Councilor Karen Blair dies of lung cancer

Councilor Karen Blair, the only woman on the Medford City Council, died Wednesday after a long battle with lung cancer.

"She loved the loved the city and she loved being on the council," Councilor Dick Gordon said.

Blair had been attending council meetings less frequently in recent months while she underwent treatment.

A 1970 graduate of Medford Senior High School, she took office in 2011.

A real estate broker, Blair served on various city committees and commissions including Housing & Community Development, Landmarks and Historic Commission, Citizens Planning Advisory Commission, Budget Committee, City Grants Committee. She also served on Jackson County's Committee for Citizen Involvement and was involved in the Rogue Valley Association of Realtors and Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service.

Councilor Eli Matthews, who has known Blair for six years, said, "It's definitely a shocker. We all knew she was battling it."

Matthews said Blair had received extensive treatment for cancer throughout this year.

At first, it looked like she responded well to the treatment, but things progressed quickly over the past month, he said.

— Damian Mann

Karen Blair