ST. LOUIS (KSDK) – Longtime St. Louis County Councilwoman Kathleen Kelly Burkett lost her battle with cancer Saturday. She was 68.

"My heart is heavy right now, but Kathy died the way she lived: on her own terms," County Executive Charlie Dooley said in a statement. "My prayers are with her family and I know she's resting in peace."

Burkett was elected to represent the second county council district in a 2002 special election. She was re-elected to a four year term in 2008 and again in 2012.

She managed a small service business in Overland for 30 years, and had lived in the 2nd district for her entire life.

"Kathy adored her family and friends and she took care of her constituents like they were her own family," Dooley said. "She loved representing the people of the 2nd Council District."

Burkett was interested in public safety, and served as a director of the Community Fire Protection District, president of the North Central County 911 Fire Alarm System, on a municipal police Advisory Board and on the County Board of Highways and Traffic.

On County Council, she chaired the justice and health committee, and served on the public improvements committee.

"Kathy was a no-nonsense person who said what she meant and meant what she said," Dooley said. "She was the consummate politician, but she didn't have any tolerance for petty politics or posturing. She never hesitated to let you know what she was thinking, and when she gave you her word on something, you could take it to the bank."

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