Family, city leaders celebrate life of Orlando LGBTQ advocate Terry DeCarlo on Wednesday

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PHOTO VIA TERRY DECARLO/FACEBOOK
  • Photo via Terry DeCarlo/Facebook
Members of the Orlando community, including Mayor Buddy Dyer and Commissioner Patty Sheehan, are gathering Wednesday evening to celebrate the life of Terry DeCarlo, the former executive director of the LGBT+ Center and leader among the LGBTQ community.

DeCarlo, who was 57 years old, passed away on Jan. 27 after battling stage-four face and neck cancer.



"The cancer was just too aggressive for treatment," wrote his husband, Bill Huelsman, in a Facebook post via DeCarlo's account.

The Terry DeCarlo memorial is set to take place on Wednesday at the Abbey in downtown Orlando. Seating begins at 6 p.m. and the service starts at 7 p.m.
Terry DeCarlo with his mother, Anne Fabrikant - PHOTO VIA TERRY DECARLO/FACEBOOK
  • Photo via Terry DeCarlo/Facebook
  • Terry DeCarlo with his mother, Anne Fabrikant
DeCarlo moved to Central Florida and became the executive director for Orlando's LGBT+ Center in 2014, ultimately beoming the face of the LGBTQ community in Orlando following the Pulse Nightclub tragedy in 2016.



As one of the first advocates on the scene at Pulse, DeCarlo dedicated much of his time to helping victims and their families for years after the shooting.

He had previously stated he was going to move to Miami to serve as the Southeastern regional director for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, but after the Pulse attack decided to postpone those plans and remain in Orlando to support the community.
Terry DeCarlo with husband Bill Huelsman at Miami Pride Parade 2019 - PHOTO VIA TERRY DECARLO/FACEBOOK
  • Photo via Terry DeCarlo/Facebook
  • Terry DeCarlo with husband Bill Huelsman at Miami Pride Parade 2019
Following a stress-induced heart attack in 2017, DeCarlo stepped down as executive director and became the communications director for the LGBT+ Center until 2018. He and his husband then moved to South Florida, where DeCarlo continued to advocate for the LGBT+ community as communications director for the Broward County government.

Tonight's service will include remarks by Dyer, Sheehan, family and friends, with a bagpipe performance, a flag-folding ceremony and "Taps."

For more details and updates about Terry DeCarlo's service, visit the official Facebook event page. For more information on Orlando's LGBT+ Center, please visit TheCenterOrlando.org.
Terry DeCarlo with Mayor Buddy Dyer - PHOTO VIA TERRY DECARLO/FACEBOOK
  • Photo via Terry DeCarlo/Facebook
  • Terry DeCarlo with Mayor Buddy Dyer
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