Peter Secchia, a prominent philanthropist and former U.S. Ambassador to Italy, has died. He was 83. Family spokesperson Amy LeFebre confirmed that Secchia was at his home in East Grand Rapids with his family when he died. She said he “recently contracted COVID-19, which was a contributing factor in his death.” Secchia, who served as U.S. Ambassador to Italy from 1989 to 1993, is the former CEO and Chairman of the Board at Universal Forest Products, Inc. The scope of the giving of he and his wife, Joan, can be seen throughout West Michigan and at his alma mater, Michigan State University. Secchia was also influential in Republican politics. He served as chair of the Kent County Republican Party and Vice Chairmen of the Republican National Committee. He was an influential leader in the building and renewal of Grand Rapids. He serves on the executive committee of the Gerald R. Ford Foundation, and is on the board of trustees of the Bush Presidential Library Foundation in addition to his position on the Grand Valley University Foundation board of directors.