Florist Tara Smith was pronounced dead Thursday morning at a local hospital.
Her husband, Scott, said she had been battling a rare form of cancer that has left her unable to work and with chronic pain.
He said Smith was a beloved and respected member of the Fort Collins community.
“Tara was an incredible, kind and caring person,” Scott Smith said in a statement.
“She always looked out for others, always had the right smile on her face and loved people.”
The couple has been married for 19 years and has three children.
Fort Collins Police Sgt. Paul DeRidder said officers responded to a call at about 9 a.m. about a female complaining of chest pain.
A woman was taken to a hospital for a medical evaluation, but was pronounced deceased shortly after, DeRidders said.
Fort Douglas Police Chief John Rolfe said police responded to the same call at 9:15 a.mi. and found Smith in the parking lot of a nearby hotel, suffering from the condition.
The couple had been staying at the hotel, which was closed Thursday night.
Smith had recently started working as a licensed florister, Rolfes said.
She is survived by her husband, who is in his mid-50s.
The Fort Collins Post-Tribune reported that Smith’s father, Robert, is a licensed professional floriser.
She had worked for more than a decade as a certified florider.
FortCollins Mayor Mike Bivins, who said he had not seen his daughter in months, said Smith’s death is a devastating loss for Fort Collins and for the town.
“She was the person that I loved and I had so many memories of her, and her life and what she did with her life,” Bivin said.
“This is devastating, and she was a wonderful person.
This is a sad day.”
Fort Collins is about an hour and a half east of Denver.
Smith’s funeral will be held at 11 a.mo. Thursday.