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A mere two years after making history by becoming the first African American mayor of Teaneck, New Jersey, Lizette Parker has passed away. Reportedly, the 44-year-old died of complications due to respiratory issues.

Parker began her political career in Teaneck in 2006 as a member of the city’s township council. Her prior career was as a social worker. She was an active member of the Bergen County branch of the NAACP.

“Anybody who knew Lizette was privileged to know her,” said Councilman Mohammed Hameeduddin. “We really lost a special person,” he added.

“Her love, presence and sincerity will be sorely missed in township government and in the community” read a statement from the town’s website.

Parker is survived by her daughter and her husband of 17 years.

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