A prominent Edmonton business leader and publisher has died suddenly.

Ruth Kelly owned Venture Publishing, the company behind Alberta Venture and Alberta Oil magazines.

She was also a prominent figure in Edmonton’s business community, sitting on a number of boards and councils.

Her family issued a statement Thursday in the wake of the news:

“Our family is grieving the profound loss of Ruth Kelly. To us she was Ruth, a woman we loved, but to Albertans she was a distinguished business woman, a community leader, a philanthropist and a role model.”

After speaking at an event Thursday, Mayor Don Iveson spoke about Kelly and her impact on the City of Edmonton.

“Ruth was phenomenal, the news is very sad for a lot of us, she was a mentor to me in many things, contributed a lot of leadership to the community broadly and through the United Way, helped change some of our thinking about poverty that inspired some of the work for End Poverty Edmonton,” Iveson said. “It was as a business community leader that she was doing that in our community, so the loss is deeply felt.”

In the hours after news of her death broke, a number of Edmontonians and organizations reacted to the news.