Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Local musician Karen Deal, wife of Jefferson Airplane singer, dies

TAMPA — Local musician Karen Deal, a Tampa resident who married Jefferson Airplane singer Marty Balin, died Friday. She was 56.

Deal's band, Mod Squad, played in the area for years — most recently at Skipper's Smokehouse for the venue's 30th anniversary celebration in September, said her father, former WFLA newscaster Arch Deal.

Deal said his daughter played keyboard and bass. She didn't sing much, but her father said he thought she had perfect pitch.

"Music was her life," Mr. Deal said. "Music was everything to her."

A graduate of Tampa Catholic, Karen Deal met Balin when Mod Squad opened for Jefferson Airplane. They married and moved to Balin's San Francisco home but returned to Tampa often, Mr. Deal said.

She died Friday after choking on a piece of food during a family dinner a month ago. Mr. Deal said he tried the Heimlich maneuver until paramedics took his daughter to St. Joseph's Hospital, but she remained in a coma until her death. Doctors told Mr. Deal she'd been without oxygen that night for 15 minutes.

Karen Deal is survived by Balin; their daughter, Delaney; her father and mother; two sisters, Diane and Shari; a brother, Doug; and a half sister, Michelle.

Her memorial service will take place Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Blount & Curry Funeral Home, Carrollwood Chapel, 3207 W Bearss Ave.

Local musician Karen Deal, wife of Jefferson Airplane singer, dies 11/20/10 [Last modified: Sunday, November 21, 2010 12:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Baker cautious on Pride politics


    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  2. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  3. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  4. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips


    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 26-July 2.


    Vans Warped Tour: The festival returns Saturday to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park, featuring shock-metal icons Gwar, hardcore punks Sick Of It All, ska band Save Ferris and indie-pop group Never Shout Never ($39.50-$49.50). vanswarpedtour. …

    Crowd for the Motionless in White band at the 2014 Vans Warped Tour at Vinoy Park, Friday, July 25, 2014.  CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times