PHOENIX -- Eddie Basha, the chairman and CEO of the family-owned Bashas' Grocery Stores, will be laid to rest this weekend, and ahead of the funeral his son spoke out about the legacy his father will leave behind.
A gallery inside Bashas' Corporate Office Headquarters in the East Valley is filled with thousands of pieces of western art, a reminder of Eddie’s passion.
"One of my dad's passions was collecting Western art," said son Trey Basha. "He was a history major in college but he never cared for the history of Europe or colonial history. He was always enamored with the history of the West."
The late Basha died Tuesday, March 26, leaving behind his wife and six sons, including four from his first marriage. His son Trey still finds his father's death hard to believe.
"I mean I can't tell you in the last week how many times I've picked up my phone to call my dad."
Trey Basha describes his father as a man dedicated to his work. To his family he was a church-going guy who loved a good laugh.
"Sometimes he could be a little irreverent but he loved to laugh and he loved to make people laugh. He enjoyed humor."
The family has been overwhelmed with the outpouring of emotion. Eddie loved Arizona and it is clear that Arizona loved him in return.
In a statement Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said, "Eddie Basha was a giant in our state's history. Not only as a business leader but as a passionate advocate for education. He will be missed, but never forgotten."
The family says in lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Eddie are suggested to go to St. Vincent de Paul, The Salvation Army, First Things First, the Adelante Foundation, or a special charity of your choice.
About 5,000 people are expected to attend the memorial service this weekend in Tempe.
The service will be held at ASU Gammage Auditorium Saturday April 6 at 10 a.m. Those who cannot attend the services can also watch on azfamily.com where the memorial service will be streaming live.