A week of remembrance: Celebrating the life of Congressman Ed Pastor

Last week, the community came together to celebrate and remember the life former Congressman Ed Pastor who passed away after suffering a heart attack. He was 75.

Pastor was the first Latino to represent Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives and impacted the lives of many.

“Arizona mourns the loss of an Arizona trailblazer and true public servant, Congressman Ed Pastor,” Governor Doug Ducey said. “My deepest sympathies go out to Congressman Pastor’s family and loved ones. In honor of his life of service, I’m ordering flags across the state be lowered to half-staff in recognition of the long-lasting impact he will leave on Arizona.”

On Sunday, Dec. 1, Pastor lay in state in the rotunda of the Arizona State Capitol, becoming only the fourth person bestowed that honor.

The public was invited to pay its respects after both a private ceremony for his family as well as one for elected officials and other state dignitaries.

“Today, Congressman Ed Pastor lies in state at the Arizona State Capitol. As Arizonans pay their final respects, we mourn his loss and remain grateful for his dedicated service to our state.” Ducey tweeted.

On Thursday, Dec. 6, a visitation was held at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church with a Rosary and eulogies following.

“Huge turn out tonight for the visitation and Rosary celebrating the life of Congressman Ed Pastor. He didn’t represent Mesa but that didn’t dissuade him from helping Mesa. A lot. We are grateful for his life of service. Rest In Peace,” Mesa Mayor John Giles tweeted.

On Friday, Dec. 7, Pastor’s funeral mass was held at the same church. Politicians from across the country and from both parties attended the ceremony including U.S. House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Jon Kyl and Congresswoman Martha McSally.

After 23 years in the House, Pastor did not seek reelection in 2014. At the time he was the most senior member of the Arizona House delegation.

Emily Richardson

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