WASHINGTON (KGO) -- A Bay Area Catholic leader will speak at Senator John McCain's memorial service Thursday in Phoenix.
Father Edward A. Reese, the president of Saint Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco, will take part in the wreath laying and address those in attendance.
RELATED: John McCain's funeral - Joe Biden, Warren Beatty to be pallbearers
Father Reese knew McCain when he worked in Phoenix and was the head of the high school where McCain's two sons attended. He spoke to ABC7 News about a side of McCain rarely seen -- his love for nature.
Years ago, when a flash flood hit near his Sedona ranch, McCain was concerned by the displacement of the animals, in particular his favorite hawk.
"I was there when this bird came back and there was this grin on his face from ear to ear. Just that his hawk had come back," Reese remembered. "And that's the kind of man he was."
The Arizona memorial is one of two planned for the late senator.
For more stories and videos about John McCain, visit this page.
PHOTOS: John McCain through the years
Bay Area priest to speak at Sen. John McCain's memorial service