Surprise officials say councilman Jim Hayden passed away following a short illness.
The City of Surprise released a statement Wednesday after Hayden died. No word as to what illness he had.
“Hayden was appointed by the Surprise City Council to serve out the remainder of the term for the District 2 council seat in October 2016,” the press release explained.
He won the seat in August 2016 during the Primary Election and his term started on Jan. 1.
He’s described by Mayor Sharon Wolcott as being a “gentle soul and humble public servant.” She went on to explain that his legacy of service will continue to live on.
Hayden was a longtime west Valley resident and for 22 years served as a firefighter and EMT with the Glendale Fire Department.
He was also a Vietnam War veteran and an adjunct teacher at Glendale Community College. Before serving on the City Council, he was chairman of the Surprise Public Safety Retirement Board.
Hayden, and his wife, Nancy, lived in the Sun City Grand area for more than a decade.