Community mourns the death of the beloved Peter Secchia

Tina Duoibes, Editor-In-Chief

The community grieves the death of philanthropist, former US Ambassador, and businessman, Peter Secchia at the age of 83. News broke recently of Secchia’s death on Oct. 21 at his home in East.

“I know he loved EGRHS Athletics,” High School Principal Craige Weigel said. “He admired Jimmy Gerken’s legacy of kindness, respect, inclusion, and he was a proponent of that in the high school. He had a huge impact in West Michigan with his philanthropy and we certainly have benefited from his generosity. We are forever thankful for him.”

Secchia spent many years in his adopted community with his late wife, Joan, and supported investments in local businesses, education, the arts, and park development. 

“Through his support of the Gerken Fund we have been able to provide many advancements over the years to our athletic facilities,” Weigel said. “Also, with his support of Kabookie Week, honoring the legacy of Jimmy Gerken, he has been able to infuse a lot of positivity in the building through programming, activities, and even spirit week donuts.”

Last fall the high school was honored to welcome Secchia as a guest speaker at the annual spirit assembly to end Kabookie week. Secchia spoke highly of the late EGRHS icon and role model Jimmy Gerken and his message while serving to inspire students to see the world like Jimmy. The high school, local leaders, and the community all mourn the loss of such an influential and spirited man whose goal was to always give back.