Leland Hairr, the longtime mayor of Lloyd Harbor, died Friday after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 72.
Hairr, an environmental consultant and community volunteer, was a devoted family man who relished teaching his children tennis and sailing, and taking them on trips along the East Coast to historic destinations, according to his daughters.
"We always were just hanging out talking, we shared dinner together every night; he just had a presence," Mary Buckholtz, his daughter, said. "We spent a lot of quality time together."
Born and raised in Goldsboro, N.C., he graduated from Goldsboro High School in 1959. He received a bachelor of science in physics at North Carolina State University and a master's degree in environmental health sciences from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He served on active duty as an officer at the Army's Environmental Hygiene Agency from 1964 to 1966. After active duty he was on the research staff of New York University's Institute of Environmental Medicine and received a PhD from its School of Engineering and Science in 1974.
Hairr was the co-founder and former president of EEA Inc., a Garden City-based environmental consulting firm founded in 1979.
He was a tireless community servant who was recognized for his leadership by Newsday when he was named its Volunteer of the Year in 1993. He served on several boards including the Family Service League of Suffolk County, the North Shore Land Alliance Inc. in Old Westbury, and The Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities. He was a member of the Technical Advisory Counsel for The Friends of the Bay for Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor.
In 1999 he became Lloyd Harbor's mayor, a position he served until his death. He is a former president of the Suffolk County Village Officials Association, was a member of the Suffolk County Planning Commission's Energy Working Group for Comprehensive Plans and the Municipal Committee of the Long Island Regional Planning Council's "LI 2035 Initiative." He also served as the president of the TriCounty Municipal Officials Association in 2009 and was active in the New York State Conference of Mayors.
"I looked at him as my hero, my mentor, my caregiver," Dana Busa, his daughter, said.
In addition to his daughters, he is survived by his wife, Cheryl, son Timothy Hairr of Denver; three stepchildren, William and Amy Mulligan of Lloyd Harbor and Katherine Ryan of Ossining; and eight grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Monday at St. John's Episcopal Church in Huntington, where he was a longtime member. The service will be at 11 a.m. Donations in his memory can be made to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, St. John's Episcopal Church of Huntington or a charity of your choice.