William Blesener, mayor of Little Canada, dies after bout with cancer


The Bible quote in the obituary of William Blesener says he "fought the good fight."

The 10,000 residents in the town he served for decades can attest.

Blesener, the longtime Little Canada mayor and former city council member, died this week at the age of 74 after a fight with cancer.

Blesener served on the northern suburban city's council from 1985 until 1992, and then again from 2003 to 2004. He became mayor in 2005 and has held that position since.

In a Pioneer Press story, those who knew him spoke distinctly about how much he cared about Little Canada, and how that same sense of caring and kindness was evident in his personal relationships.

"He was a gentleman right to the very end," council member Michael McGraw told the paper.

Blesener's impact will be remembered – KSTP reports the new public works building set to open in the spring will be dedicated to him.

Blesener was diagnosed with myeloma in May – a type of cancer that forms in plasma cells, a type of white blood cell that helps attack germs in the body, the Mayo Clinic explains. Cancer.net says about 24,000 Americans will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma this year.

According to Lillie News, Blesener missed multiple city meetings and functions over the past few months while dealing with the disease. He did not run for re-election in November, and was set to give his seat to winner John Keis.

By December, the cancer had advanced to leukemia, the Pioneer Press says.

On Sunday, he passed away "peacefully, at his home" and surrounded by family, his obituary says.

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