Grocery store magnate Eddie Basha dies at 75
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Web Producer: Rikki Mitchell
PHOENIX (AP) - The chairman and CEO of the Bashas' family-owned grocery store chain in Arizona is dead at age 75.
Family members say Eddie Basha died Tuesday.
A cause of death wasn't immediately released, but Basha's family say he had been in failing health for some time.
Basha's grandfather and father opened the first of what would become the family-owned supermarket chain in 1932.
He took over the business at age 31 when his dad died in 1968.
Bashas' has grown to more than 130 stores around Arizona and also owns the A.J.'s Fine Foods and Food City stores.
Basha served on the Arizona Board of Regents and unsuccessfully ran for Arizona governor in 1994.
He's survived by his wife and six sons.
Funeral plans weren't immediately released.
In a letter sent to employees Tuesday, Basha's CEO Edward Basha III wrote:
"It’s with the heaviest of hearts that my family and I share news we’d hoped never to have to
share: Eddie passed away today.
We want to share with you just how much Eddie loved Bashas’, its members and its customers.
From our earliest childhood, he always reinforced to us the importance of our members and
giving back to our community. Some of his fondest times were being with Bashas’ members and
customers, whether at the office, the Distribution Center or in the stores.
To us, and to many of you, Eddie was always larger than life, and he gave his heart and soul to
Bashas’ Family of Stores. Ironically, Eddie never saw himself that way. He considered himself
to be a Bashas’ member, no different than any other, and he considered all Bashas’ members to
be a part of his family. During Eddie’s lifetime he faced many challenges, the last few years
being among the most challenging. But his desire to serve the people of the state he loved so
well, and to take care of the members that he cared for so much, always gave him strength in the
face of adversity.
It is our collective strength that has seen us through difficult days. This strength will continue to
move us forward, even though we have suffered such a tragic loss. As a family, we want to
thank you for your devotion, thoughts and prayers."
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