DEL MAR — The March 4 City Council meeting began with a somber announcement that Deputy Mayor Lee Haydu had lost her husband a week earlier.
“It is with sadness that we report the passing of Paul Haydu,” Mayor Terry Sinnott said. “On behalf of the city and all her colleagues, we extend our thoughts of support and healing to Lee and the entire Haydu family.”
Paul Haydu, an emergency medicine physician, lost a 10-plus-year battle with leukemia Feb. 26 at the age of 67.
“I enjoyed talking to Paul,” said Councilman Don Mosier, a close friend of the Haydus. “He was very brave throughout a long process.
“He underwent a bone marrow transplant about a year and a half ago,” Mosier said. “He went through a very aggressive therapy course. And throughout it all he maintained optimism, caring.”
A New York native, Haydu received his bachelor’s and medical degrees from Boston University. He practiced for more than 25 years in San Diego, including 20 years at Palomar Medical Center.
“He was an ideal physician,” Mosier said. “He enjoyed the work as a physician and he was able to do that the last couple of months and that had a big impact on his life.”
Paul and Lee were married in 1986 in Del Mar, where they have lived ever since.
Lee Haydu was in good spirits during a Feb. 21 welcome reception for newly and re-elected government officials co-sponsored by the city. She helped coordinate the event.
She did not attend a Feb. 25 special council workshop due to “an illness in the family,” Sinnott said at that meeting.
“I appreciate the dedication of Lee Haydu to the city, all the service that she’s done while she was also dealing with Paul’s sickness,” Mosier said. “Those are two major tasks.
“She’s done an excellent job during this difficult time,” he added. “It will take time to recover from this loss, but I hope that she can resume one of her important tasks in the near future and come back and help the city.”
In addition to his wife, Paul Haydu is survived by their daughters, Michelle and Sarah, his mother and his brother.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. March 17 at Powerhouse Community Center.