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Former U.S. Ambassador, Republican Party Heavy-Weight Peter Secchia Dies

Grand Valley State University

Michigan philanthropist and entrepreneur, Peter Secchia, died Wednesday morning. A spokeswoman for the family confirmed COVID-19 "was a contributing factor in his death."

Secchia had an enormous influence in the Republican Party, at the state and national level. He once served as vice chair of the Republican National Commitee and was the U.S. Ambassador to Italy during George H. W. Bush’s presidency.

Secchia was an Michigan State University graduate. The headquarters for MSU’s College of Human Medicine in downtown Grand Rapids is named after him. He helped shape a number of development projects in West Michigan, including the Downtown Market and Millennium Park.

"Mr. Secchia had experienced health issues for several months and was receiving nursing care at home. He recently contracted COVID-19, which was a contributing factor in his death.  He was not hospitalized and died peacefully at home," spokeswoman Amy LeFebre wrote.

Citing the ongoing pandemic, services are expected to be private, according to a statement on behalf of Secchia’s family.

"My family joins me in sharing the difficult news that Peter F. Secchia, our beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away this morning at the age of 83. Throughout his life, Peter was firmly committed to his family, his business, his community and his country. His presence in all will be deeply missed," his wife, Joan Secchia wrote.

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