PHOENIX -- The sudden and unexpected death of a popular Valley business owner has many in the community reeling from the loss.
Greg Eveloff, owner of the Clotherie in Phoenix, died on vacation in Hawaii on Saturday.
Eveloff, 60, was snorkeling off the coast of Maui when he began having trouble in the water and fell unconscious. According to family members, Eveloff was unresponsive and couldn't be revived by the time he was pulled ashore.
The official cause of death is under investigation, but the family believes it was possibly a heart attack.
"It was a total shock," said Tom Allen, Eveloff's longtime friend and work associate. "I mean, Greg was always so healthy and worked out every single day. In the 12 years I've been here [at the Clotherie] I haven't seen him miss a single day for illness – not once."
On Monday, people reacting to the death described Eveloff as a hard worker, a dedicated family man, good boss and all-around favorite guy in any room.
If Eveloff's life story were made into a book it could appropriately be titled the American Dream. A young Eveloff grew up working in his father’s department store in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
"Greg worked there from the time he was a little kid, really, and when he got out of high school he came here to ASU," Allen said.
After Arizona State University, Greg stayed in the Valley, working as a sales associate at the Clotherie for more than three decades until finally becoming an owner and beloved boss who was a fixture in his store six and seven days a week. He also owned Bonafide Goods, a Phoenix clothing store.
In the little spare time that Eveloff wasn't working or spending time with his family, he was charitable. Every year he donated suits and other clothing to kids at the Boys & Girls Clubs.
"He treated everybody like they were special," Allen said. "It didn't matter who they were, what their social status was, race, creed color, that type of thing -- he had time for everyone and made them feel like he cared about them."
The family is tentatively planning a celebration of life for Sept. 21.
The Phoenix Suns have released the following statements on Eveloff's passing:
Suns President Jason Rowley:
"On behalf of the entire Suns organization, I would like to extend my sincere condolences and regards to Greg's family, friends and co-workers. Greg was a trusted friend to many, whose positive and caring nature led to relationships with each Suns' head coach and broadcaster he interacted with during his incredible tenure at The Clotherie. His passion and love for his family, our community and his profession will surely be missed."
Suns head coach Jeff Hornacek:
"I met Greg at the beginning of last season and he was so friendly and generous that I felt as if I had known him for many, many years. He always wanted to go the extra mile to make things special. Stacy and I will miss his friendship."
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