Cancer claims Antioch city councilman Gary Agopian

Antioch City Councilman Gary Agopian died early Monday morning at the age of 57 after a nearly yearlong battle with cancer, according to family members and colleagues.

The councilman’s wife, Robin Lane Agopian, wrote Monday¬†on the Pray for Gary Agopian Facebook page:

“Gary, my husband, best friend, and father to Heather, Corey and Jason took his last breath.”

Agopian died in the hospital around 1 a.m., she said. The Los Angeles native and 19-year Antioch resident was diagnosed with brain cancer last fall.

After his diagnosis, Agopian continued to serve on the City Council and campaigned for a half-cent sales tax last fall.

Mayor Wade Harper this morning expressed his condolences to the councilman’s family and spoke admiringly of Agopian’s contributions both to the city and personally:

“He was such a smart man, such a brilliant man. I knew if he disagreed with an item and asked for more discussion, we needed to take a step back and listen. … He stood tall, and I’m not just talking about his height, but in his faith in God, his leadership, his love for his family and love for his city.”

Harper said. Condolences poured in this morning via social media as friends, family and citizens learned of the councilman’s death.

Agopian’s wife thanked the many community members who helped out with “meals, gift cards, cards, phone calls, visits, housecleaning, prayers and so much more” over the past 10 months.

A longtime realtor, the councilman served for several years on the Antioch Unified School District board of trustees and the Antioch Economic Development Commission before being elected to the City Council in 2010.