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Former Rep. Ed Pastor of Arizona to be buried after week of memorials

(Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

PHOENIX — Former U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor, Arizona’s first Hispanic member of Congress, will be laid to rest Friday.

A weeklong celebration of Pastor’s life will culminate with a funeral Mass in Phoenix on Friday afternoon and burial immediately after.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) and members of Pastor’s family were scheduled to deliver eulogies.

Pastor, a Democrat known for his bipartisanship, died after suffering a heart attack last week. He was 75.

Pastor served 23 years in Congress but decided to not seek re-election in 2014. One of his daughters, Laura Pastor, followed in his political footsteps, and serves on the Phoenix City Council.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Republican, called Pastor “an Arizona trailblazer and true public servant” and ordered that flags lowered to half-staff.

Pastor lay in state at the Arizona State Capitol on Sunday, and another viewing was held Thursday evening at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.

Pastor, who is survived by his wife, two daughters and sister, was born in Claypool, Arizona, a small mining town about 100 miles (160 kilometers) east of Phoenix. His father worked in the copper mines, and Pastor was the first in his family to graduate from college, earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Arizona State University.

Pastor taught high school chemistry in Phoenix and later earned a law degree at ASU.

He joined the staff of former Gov. Raul Castro in the 1970s and made his first foray into elected office when he successfully ran for Maricopa County supervisor in 1976.

Castro was elected to Congress in 1991.

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