Funeral services Nov. 25 for AZ political leader Miranda - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

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Funeral services Nov. 25 for AZ political leader Miranda

Ben Miranda (Source: Alonso Parra) Ben Miranda (Source: Alonso Parra)
(Source: Alonso Parra) (Source: Alonso Parra)
(Source: Alonso Parra) (Source: Alonso Parra)
(Source: Alonso Parra) (Source: Alonso Parra)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Funeral service are planned Monday,  for former Arizona Rep. Ben Miranda.

Miranda, a lawmaker, lawyer and community leader, died Nov. 15 from heart failure, according to friends. He was 64.

Monday's service will be held at Saint Agnes Catholic Church at 1954 N. 24 St. in Phoenix from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., followed by mass.

His burial will take place at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona at 23029 N. Cave Creek Rd. at 2 p.m. Following the burial, the public is invited to convene at the American Legion Post 41 at 715 S. Second Ave. commemorate his life.

Miranda graduated from Phoenix Union High School and served in the U.S. Army. He served the country in the Vietnam conflict and was awarded the Bronze Star by Senator Barry Goldwater. After attending Phoenix College and undergraduate studies at Arizona State University, he graduated with Deans Award from ASU Law School where he led a recruitment effort that increased minority law student enrollment by 50 percent.

In 1994, he received the City of Phoenix's First Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. "Living the Dream" Award. He oversaw over $100,000 in donations from the firm and contributed hundreds of hours in support of Cesar Chavez of the United Farm workers. He served on the Roosevelt School Board where he has been recognized for the hundreds of volunteer hours that he contributes to children. He was elected to the State Legislature in 2002, he served with his brother senator, the first brothers elected to serve together as state level office holders. He has twice been selected by his peers to serve as Chair of the Arizona Latino Caucus of the State Legislature.

Miranda served in the Arizona House from 2003 to 2010.

He has also served on the boards of the Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, American Red Cross and Valle del Sol. He has represented the city of Avondale, Pacific Gas and Electric and Local 383 Union. His passion for helping the underserved has led him to establish Proyecto Manzana, which is focused on increasing access to a higher education for all youth in need.

He was known for providing legal advice to people in the community who could not otherwise obtain legal services.

He is survived by his wife Catherine Miranda and his two daughters Maritza and Elisa, his son-in-law Aaron and four grandchildren.

Catherine Miranda is an Arizona House of Representative District 16 member, holding the House seat her husband used to hold.

Maricopa County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox issued the following statement:

"This was an unexpected and a hard loss for Arizona and the community. Ben Miranda served his country in the military, in Vietnam, as an attorney, offering pro bono services to important causes and as a political leader. He served in several elected offices over the past two decades, where he was an independent voice and a strong advocate of the working person. He was his own man, but a big hearted one."

Maricopa Community Colleges' Chancellor Rufus Glasper released the following statement on Miranda, who was a member of the governing board:

"We are saddened to hear about the sudden death of our Governing Board Member, Ben Miranda. While he only joined our Board last January, he proved to be a passionate advocate for his causes. He was fully engaged in and committed to the cause of educational access for all and to the mission of our community colleges. His service here was just the most recent example of his dedication to the community. Both personally and on behalf of the Governing Board and the Maricopa Community Colleges, I want to offer our condolences to his wife, Catherine, and to his family. He will be missed throughout the community."

Phoenix Councilman Daniel Valenzuela issued the following statement on Miranda's passing.

"I am saddened to learn of the sudden loss of one of our community's most dedicated, passionate leaders, the honorable Ben Miranda. Ben fought tirelessly for those without the means to fight for themselves. He understood the challenges of the underdog because he had walked many miles in their shoes. An honored war veteran, advocate for education, husband, father and friend to all - my heart goes out to his family and loved ones left behind. Ben was the recipient of the very first City of Phoenix Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 'Living the Dream' Award for his dedication to human and civil rights for all here in Phoenix - a fitting honor for a man who helped make the dreams of others a reality. May God bless Ben Miranda, his family, friends and the community in which he tirelessly served."

CBS 5 News invites people to share their stories of Miranda or leave their condolences in the comments section below.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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