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West Michigan reacts to passing of Peter Secchia

West Michigan reacts to passing of Peter Secchia
Posted at 9:22 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 21:22:38-04

Leaders and organizations across West Michigan are reacting this afternoon to the passing of West Michigan icon Peter F. Secchia.

And with his large influence on business, politics and philanthropy, leaders from across the state and country are also responding to the news.

SEE MORE: Former U.S. ambassador, GR philanthropist Peter Secchia dies at 83

Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss:

"Today is a sad day for our community w/the passing of Ambassador Secchia. A generous man who leaves a lasting legacy."

Rick DeVos:

"Love and prayers for the Secchia family."

Statement from the Ford Family and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation:

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our great friend, Peter Secchia, and our hearts and prayers go out to Joan and their four children — Stephanie, Sandy, Charlie, and Mark. What a remarkable legacy Peter leaves behind. Whether he’s remembered as an entrepreneur rebuilding Grand Rapids, or as a philanthropist making life better for the people of Michigan, or as a counselor having the President’s ear, or as an ambassador bridging connections to Italy, Peter made things happen. He was bigger than life. Everything he did, he did with gusto. Just look at how he was devoted to his family, generous to his friends, fierce in his beliefs, and unwavering in his support for the causes he held dear. Peter and our dad first met back in 1964, during one of our dad’s congressional campaigns, and it seems he’s been part of our family ever since. Dad and Mom treasured his playful sense of humor, good counsel, and abiding friendship; also the good-natured rivalry between a Spartan and a Wolverine. Our family will miss Peter. We will remember his generous spirit and be inspired by his determination to make everything he touched better than he found it. Thank you, Peter, for letting us share in your wonderful life and journey. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him."

Michigan Republican Party Chairman Laura Cox:

For decades Ambassador Peter Secchia has been a powerful supporter of the Michigan Republican Party, Republican candidates and our causes. It is so appropriate that his name is on our building because he epitomizes the kind of strength and fight that everyone in our Party should have for the causes they believe in. His generosity and philanthropy extend beyond politics which is clear when you look around at all of the wonderful work he did for organizations and efforts across the State and his enthusiasm for those efforts was unmatched. On behalf of Republicans across Michigan, I would like to send our thoughts and prayers to Ambassador Secchia’s family and friends during this time of loss.”

Kent GOP Chairman Joel Freeman:

"As a business and community leader, Republican and Spartan, Peter always inspired those around him to be their best, do their best, and expect the best. From Grand Rapids, to Washington, to Italy and beyond, Ambassador Secchia left a legacy of service that will impact generations to come. No matter how far his business and political successes took him, he always came back to Kent County, back to his community, which will forever be changed for the better."

Peter Meijer, Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives:

"Deeply saddened to hear of Ambassador Peter Secchia’s passing. Peter was a tireless champion for West Michigan, and the driving force behind Grand Rapids’ redevelopment, especially the Van Andel Arena. My deepest condolences to Joan and the entire Secchia family for their loss."