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Memorial Service Today for Supervisor Gayle Uilkema

Longtime Contra Costa County Supervisor Gayle Uilkema died Saturday. She was 73.

A memorial service will is planned Thursday for longtime Contra Costa County Supervisor Gayle B. Uilkema, who died early Saturday at the age of 73 after battling ovarian cancer, according to her office.

Uilkema, who announced last fall that she planned to retire at the end of her term in January 2013, served on the Board of Supervisors for 16 years.

She represented the communities of Danville, Lafayette, Moraga, Orinda, San Ramon and the western part of Walnut Creek, as well as unincorporated communities including Alamo and Rossmoor.

The Detroit native and Lafayette resident also spent 19 years on the Lafayette City Council, and served as mayor four times.

When discussing her intention to step down from the Board of Supervisors last November, Uilkema said only that she felt it was time to leave office.

"I've been very privileged to have public support for over 30 years, and I'm grateful to the public for their faith in me," she said in November.

Uilkema pledged to provide the same level of public service during her last months in office but did not publicly discuss her illness.

Uilkema also vowed to focus her remaining time on the board on public safety projects, including a mobile identification system that would allow law enforcement officers to quickly identify suspects in the field.

Another longtime project at the top of her list, she said, was creating an improved interagency communication system among local police and fire agencies.

The memorial service for Uilkema will begin at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Perpetua Catholic Church at 3454 Hamlin Road in Lafayette.

-Bay City News Service

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