When I first came to the Valley I remember Eddie Basha’s famous commercial motto, “From our family to yours.”
Who would sell quality products to harm your family, I thought?
I later read how Eddie was passionate about youth development and education. When I served as president of the Tempe Jaycees and on the board of the Tempe Boys and Girls Club, in the late 1970s, we could always count on Eddie’s generosity to donate food for our fundraisers to help kids get involved with youth-development projects in the East Valley. In the 1980s, I served as chairman of Save Your Vision Week, where optometrists donated eye exams and glasses to disadvantaged children. When I called Bashas, I talked with Eddie, not a PR rep. for Bashas Supermarket. Eddie donated his bags and printing to put our honorary chairmen, Art Mollen and Tex Earnhardt, on his shopping bag to publish dates of our Save Your Vision event.
Eddie,to me was the most down-to-earth and approachable celebrity I ever met.
Much later Mr. Herman Chanen put a full page ad in the local newspapers called “Friends of Bashas” when Bashas got caught in the real estate depression. Mr. Chanen, graciously accepted my endorsement to help Eddie reorganize his business.
When Eddie’s mom passed, I sent a small donation to her charity. Eddie sent me a thank you card with a picture of him in a car kissing his mom on the cheek as a child. Inside the card said he was proud to be called a “mommy’s boy” because she taught him how to be a man.
Earnhardt told me once, ”Nice guys finish first.”
In Judaism, this is called a mensch which is a warm, caring and unselfish human being who cares for others first more needy than himself.
My condolences to Eddie’s immediate family and wish your grieving to be as brief as possible. I feel all Arizonans lost someone from their family when Eddie Basha passed away.
Eddie saw the big picture which helps you go to a higher place.
Dr. Jeff Eger