Surrounded by his family, Murray Mayor Ted Eyre died Friday from complications of cancer at age 71.

The retired Delta Air Lines pilot became mayor on Jan. 7, 2014, but did not seek re-election this year.

“Mayor Eyre’s mark on the city touched so many,” said Deputy Mayor Janet Towers. “He had a deep love and commitment for the city and employees. This love and commitment was displayed in everything he did as mayor.”

She noted that Eyre attended his last official city meeting on Aug 16, and it “will always be remembered by those who were lucky enough to be in attendance.”

Towers added that Eyre “was an approachable leader and had a great sense of humor.” She described him as having an “optimistic attitude, humility, determination and personal level of excellence.”

The city noted several accomplishments during his term, including:

• Improving Murray park, including adding Wi-Fi throughout, six pickleball courts, an outdoor exercise area, new restrooms and remodeling the amphitheater.

• Acquisition of the historic Murray Theater, Murray Chapel and Murray mansion.

• Adoption of a new general city plan.

• Laying the groundwork for acquiring properties in the downtown redevelopment project area for future construction of a new city hall and fire station.

Murray is one of 10 Utah cities that has a strong mayor form of government. The chairwoman of the city council, Diane Turner, will serve as acting mayor. Under state law, the city council within 30 days must appoint an interim mayor to serve until a newly elected mayor takes office on Jan. 2, 2018.

Eyre was born and raised in Wyoming and graduated from Cheyenne East High School. He attended Brigham Young University and San Bernardino Valley College, where he received his degree in aviation sciences.

Eyre’s city biography said that ever since his earliest memories, all he wanted to do was fly airplanes. He later enlisted in the U.S. Army and served a tour in Vietnam flying a U-21 Ute transport aircraft in the aviation division of the Signal Corps.

After returning home, he worked on construction projects in Colorado before becoming a flight instructor in the San Francisco area.

He eventually became a pilot for Western Airlines, which was acquired by Delta Air Lines in 1986. He and his wife Ruth relocated to Murray in 1987. He retired as a Delta Air Lines captain in 2005.

Eyre and his wife are the parents of four children and grandparents of five.