TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Teaneck Mayor Lizette Parker has died after a battle with respiratory issues.

The 44-year-old died Sunday morning at Holy Name Medical Center, family members said. 

Parker’s death was sudden and unexpected, her mother, Dolores Phillips, said. The illness prevented her attendance at township meetings in recent weeks.

“Mayor Parker was a strong leader, public advocate and a consummate professional, who was greatly respected by her colleagues and the community,” said Town Manager William Broughton said. “Her love, presences and sincerity will be sorely missed in township government and in the community.”

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg said Parker was a terrific partner and leader.

Parker was the first black woman to be mayor of a Bergen County municipality when she assumed office in 2014.

She leaves behind a husband and 3-year-old daughter.

“This is going to have a lasting impact on her daughter. We just pray for her daughter and pray for her husband,” Broughton told WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron.

Deputy Mayor Elie Katz has been named Parker’s replacement.

Township officials have ordered all flags to fly at half-staff in Parker’s honor. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

(TM and © Copyright 2016 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2016 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)