By Kristina Houck
The Del Mar City Council honored former Mayor Lou Terrell with a special proclamation at its Jan. 21 meeting. Terrell, 75, died Jan. 3 when he was struck and killed by a train near Powerhouse Park while chasing his dog across the tracks.
The council declared Jan. 21 “Remembering Lou Terrell Day” in the city of Del Mar.
“Lou was a natural leader who set an example for all of us on how to make Del Mar a better place,” said Del Mar Mayor Lee Haydu as she read the proclamation. “His tremendous positive impact in this community will be significantly missed by all our residents.”
A longtime Del Mar resident, Terrell served as mayor and councilman in the 1980s.
“Lou really loved Del Mar. He loved it as a place. He loved it for its beauty, for the ocean, for the surfing, for the waves and its glorious weather,” said his wife, Juvenile Court Judge Carol Isackson, who thanked the city for the proclamation on behalf of her family.
“Lou loved Del Mar also as a community. He was engaged with this community — with the politics, with the people, with the community itself from the time he moved here in 1969 until just a few weeks ago.”
Terrell was a retired political science professor and former department chairman at San Diego State University. He founded and served as president of the Del Mar Foundation. He also served in leadership roles at Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties.
Terrell was fatally hit while walking his dog, Abe, off leash near the tracks on 11th Street in Del Mar. When an Amtrak train sounded its horn, the dog moved toward the tracks. Terrell went to grab Abe and was struck by the train, according to the sheriff’s department. He died at the scene.
Friends and family celebrated the life of Terrell during a memorial service Jan. 5 at the Powerhouse Community Center.