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Memorial for grocery store magnate draws thousands

TEMPE, Ariz. A memorial service for grocery store magnate Eddie Basha drew thousands of attendees, including U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and five other former Arizona governors.

Phoenix television station KTVK reports that Basha's longtime friends showed up hours in advance to get a good seat at Saturday's service, which took place in an auditorium at Arizona State University in Tempe.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and five other former Arizona governors also paid their respects as thousands of people filled the auditorium on the Arizona State University campus.

Col. Olin Hogan with the Salvation Army knew Basha since the 1980s. He called the former chairman and CEO of the Bashas' family-owned supermarket chain a genuine friend and a good man.

Bashas died last month at age 75. He guided the company that carried his family name for more than 40 years.

At one time, the chain had more than 160 supermarkets serving all 15 Arizona counties.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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