By Melissa Garcia

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Coloradans are grieving the loss of Aurora’s mayor, who passed away following his battle with cancer.

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Steve Hogan (credit: CBS)

Mayor Steve Hogan died Sunday morning in hospice care at the age of 69. Hogan had announced that he would be moving into hospice four days earlier.

While his cancer diagnosis cut short Hogan’s role as mayor, he leaves behind a legacy.

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Gov. John Hickenlooper (R) and Hogan (L) hug after the funeral of shooting victim Alexander Jonathan “A.J.” Boik in July 2012. (credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Hogan worked with Gov. John Hickenlooper leading the city through the aftermath of the 2012 mass shooting at an Aurora movie theater.

AURORA THEATER SHOOTING: Story Archive | Timeline | Remembering The Victims

“It felt like we marched through hell, almost,” Hickenlooper said of the 2012 tragedy. “It’s a little like being in the military. You trust your own life to the other person and vice versa.”

“We have to remember (the shooting), but we can not let it define who we are,” Hogan said in an interview with CBS4’s Jim Benemann one year after the shooting.

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CBS4’s Melissa Garcia interviews Gov. John Hickenlooper. (credit: CBS)

Hickenlooper said that Hogan put people ahead of politics.

“He was Republican. I (am) a Democrat. He couldn’t have cared less,” Hickenlooper told CBS4’s Melissa Garcia.

Prior to serving more than six years as Aurora’s mayor, Hogan served on the city council.

steve hogan Hickenlooper Grieves Over Death Of Aurora Mayor

(credit: CBS)

He was a trusted visionary who led with compassion, friends said.

“He touched people directly,” said Skip Noe, who worked alongside Mayor Hogan as the city manager. “His whole initiative to work on trying to provide funding and enhanced services for the homeless is just a part of that compassion… He will be missed, but his presence will be felt by this community for its entire future.”

A road project connecting 6th Avenue with E-470 will carry Mayor Hogan’s name.

The governor ordered that flags on public buildings be lowered to half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Monday.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to mkgarcia@cbs.com.

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