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By Michel Nolan, The Sun
Posted: 03/02/15 – 12:01 AM PST

Lorraine O’Campo Velarde, who served as chief of staff under two San Bernardino mayors, has died.

Velarde, who grew up in San Bernardino, died of a heart attack Feb. 28 in the city she loved.

She was 69.

She served for a total of nine years in the offices of Mayor Bob Holcomb, from 1989 to 1993, and Mayor Tom Minor from 1993 to 1998.

Rachel Clark, former San Bernardino city clerk, said she was heartbroken to hear the news.

“She was an incredible, hard-working woman,” Clark said. “She was completely dedicated to the city.”

Velarde was born Nov. 26, 1945 in Winslow, Ariz. She came to San Bernardino in 1948.

She worked as Redevelopment Agency director for more than a decade and volunteered for numerous community nonprofits, including as a board member for the Salvation Army and for Lighthouse for the Blind.

Velarde also served on the Martin Luther King Statue Renovation and Maintenance Committee that restored the iconic bronze sculpture of the late civil rights leader standing in front of City Hall.

She was a positive force for the city and loved San Bernardino dearly, said longtime friend, Carl Dameron of Dameron Communications, where Velarde worked as government relations director for more than 15 years.

“The outpouring of love for my big sister is incredible,” said Velarde’s younger sister Lydia Whitehead.

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