Eddie Basha memorial service draws big names, big crowd

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- A long line of people wrapped around ASU Gammage in Tempe Saturday for Eddie Basha's memorial.

Basha's long time friends showed up hours in advance to get a good seat.

Bill Shover, who spent 40 years with the Arizona Republic, was a friend of the CEO of Bashas’ Grocery stores for decades.

"I think he put his heart before his pocket book sometimes unlike a lot of people," said Shover. "I will always remember what he's done for the children, education and the charities but mostly for that great sense of humor."

Former Arizona Governor and now Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano was seen quickly entering the VIP door.

Former Governor Fye Symington also paid his respects.

Five former governors were expected to show up.

We're told Governor Jan Brewer entered a secret underground door.

Thousands of people filed into the auditorium.

Colonel Olin Hogan with the Salvation Army knew Basha since the 1980's.

"You know what I'll miss most is the friendship I had with him," said Olin. "He's such a genuine friend and such a good man in every way. I'll miss that about him. You know the truth is, I think this whole state is in mourning."

Congressman Ed Pastor (D), from the 7th District was also in the crowd.

"He was a prankster...He'd read an article about me on a particular subject and pretend he was the person the article was talking about," said Pastor. "He was a dear friend and will be missed."

Basha's son, Trey was seen in the parking lot guiding traffic.

Trey's father is remembered as a father, grandfather, great grandfather, husband and leader.

Eddie Basha died on March 26 at the age of 75.