Grand Rapids - We are sad to learn of the passing of Ambassador Peter F Secchia. Peter was an integral part of our Kent County GOP family and the ultimate Republican activist. Following his service in the United States Marine Corps (1956-59), his passion for sound policy strengthened when he volunteered for the Republican Party throughout the 1960’s and 70’s. He engaged and inspired a new generation of political activists when he formed the Kent County 'Scatter Blitzers’ during Gerald R. Ford’s presidential campaign of 1976.
While serving as CEO of Universal Forest Products (now UFP Industries) and actively involved in the West Michigan community, Peter held a variety of leadership positions within the GOP. He served as the Chairman of the Kent County Republican Committee (1977-78), Congressional District Chairman (1979-80), Michigan’s National Committee Member (1980-89), Vice Chair of the Republican National Committee for the Midwest Region (1984-89), and was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Italy under President George H.W. Bush (1989-93). For his exemplary service, he was recognized with both the Italian Cavaliere di Gran Croce (The Knight of the Great Cross) as well as the Distinguished Honor Award from the Department of State.
Peter Secchia was a strategic leader and top fundraiser for the Republican Party at the local, state, and national levels for several decades…but he never forgot the importance of grassroots political involvement.
"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,” said Chairman Joel Freeman. “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."
The entire Kent County GOP family sends our sympathy to his son Charlie who is our Kent County GOP Treasurer, his wife Joan, and the entire Secchia family. Peter Secchia was one of a kind and he will be deeply missed by us and our community.