Karen Deal, Wife of Marty Balin, Passes Away After Month-Long Coma

by VVN Music

Blue HighwayKaren Deal, the wife of Jefferson Airplane/Starship's Marty Balin, passed away on Friday one month after choking on food and being in a coma.  She was 57.

Deal had been a member of local Tampa group The Mod Squad since 1987 and met Balin while opening for him.  They eventually became romantically involved and got married, having a daughter, Delaney.  Even though the group broke up in the mid-90's, they recently did a reunion show in their home town.

Deal's father, former WFLA newscaster Arch Deal, said "Music was her life.  Music was everything to her."

It was a month ago that Karen choked on food during a family dinner.  Mr. Deal said that he tried to help her with the Heimlich maneuver but her brain was deprived of oxygen for fifteen minutes.  She remained in a coma until her death on Friday.

A memorial service is being held on Wednesday.

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