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Homeless Veterans Advocate Bruce Fyfe Dies

Bruce Fyfe served more than two decades as HEP's chairman of the board.
Bruce Fyfe served more than two decades as HEP's chairman of the board.

A community leader and advocate for homeless people – especially veterans – has died. Bruce Fyfe served more than 23 years as chairman of the board at Clearwater’s Homeless Empowerment Program (HEP).

Fyfe and his wife Wanda raised more than $1.6 million to help build a 32-unit apartment complex, HEP West Apartment Community, for Post 9-11 veterans who are homeless. It was their commitment to honor their son. U.S. Marine Brendan Macdonald Fyfe served three combat tours in Iraq during the worst of the fighting. He returned with post traumatic stress, left the military and died of a drug overdose at age 24.

"This is not something that stops growing. You know, the war ends for the public, it does not end for the people who fought it and it certainly does not end for the families who lost loved ones in it," Fyfe told WUSF when the veteran's apartment complex opened in October 2012.

Bruce Fyfe, passed away Friday after a short battle with a rare lung disease. A public memorial service and celebration of his life is planned April 6 at 1:30 p.m. at Countryside Christian Center, 1850 N. McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater, FL.The original story with Bruce Fyfe which aired Oct. 26, 2012, just prior to the grand opening of the HEP veterans' apartment complex.

Fyfe's work with the homeless was also recognized by the Tampa Bay Lightning and Tampa Bay Rays. He also served on the Board of Directors for BayCare and the Morton Plant Mease Foundation, and is a past president of Habitat for Humanity.

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