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Carl Duckworth

SALT LAKE CITY — Former state lawmaker Carl Duckworth died Tuesday after a long fight with cancer. He was 63.

A Democrat from Magna, Duckworth served in the Utah House for 10 years, choosing not to seek re-election in 2008 to focus on battling a rare form of bone cancer. His wife, Rep. Sue Duckworth, D-Magna, has held the seat since being elected in 2008.

"Carl enjoyed his work in the House and is grateful for the experiences and the lifetime of friendships made there," Sue Duckworth said in a statement.

Sue Duckworth said her husband loved his family, including four children and eight grandchildren, and the gospel.

Rep. Mark Wheatley, D-Murray, said Carl Duckworth was a "true" Democrat who fought for hard-working Utahns.

"Besides being a nice guy, Carl was a strong advocate for unions. He worked to ensure people received equal pay for equal work. He wanted people to have a livable wage with health benefits," he said.

House Speaker Greg Hughes, R-Draper, who has served with both Carl and Sue Duckworth, recalled Carl Duckworth sitting on the dais with him during a visit to the House this past legislative session.

"In that moment, there wasn't a dry eye in our arena," he said. "The Duckworths are family to Utah's House of Representatives. We are sorry for the loss that is felt among family and our community as a whole."

Rep. Carol Spackman Moss, D-Salt Lake City, said Carl Duckworth was always kind and friendly, and never appeared to be in a bad mood.

"He had a quiet demeanor, but as a legislator he was always engaged and followed everything closely," she said. "If ever I had a question during a floor debate I could always ask Carl and he knew the answer."

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The Utah Democratic Party issued a statement Tuesday saying, "Carl was our rock, and he was Rep. Sue Duckworth's rock."

Carl Duckworth served with quiet dignity that earned him the respect of his colleagues.

"He worked to serve all Utahns, a perspective that his 30 plus year career as a union leader at Kennecott Copper made him uniquely suited to represent," according to the party. "He didn't strong-arm, he didn't backroom deal, he simply showed up to represent Magna, do his job, and left Utah better because of it."