Terry DeCarlo, a long time activist and philanthropist, lost his battle with cancer Monday night. He was 57.

DeCarlo’s husband of 22 years Bill Huelsman posted a short message on Facebook Tuesday: It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to post this. But I need to let everyone know that I lost the love of my life last night. The cancer was just too aggressive for treatment.” 

Almost immediately tributes began to pour onto Facebook with people remembering DeCarlo and sending their condolences.


“Our hearts are broken. This community stands with you. You are not alone in your grief. Terry was an amazing man that leaves a legacy of love in his wake,” wrote David Vanlandingham. While Christopher Colella wrote:” I am so terribly sorry for such a tragedy. I pray that all of the wonderful memories stay with you forever. He was a gift to all of us. May he no longer suffer and finally be at peace. Thank you Terry DeCarlo for all you have done for our community.”

Democratic Florida House Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith simply said: “My heart is broken.”

DeCarlo has held many local jobs over the years, but his most prominent was as executive director of The LGBT+ Center in Orlando. DeCarlo became a national figure when the Pulse massacre occurred and had to lead a grieving community through a tumultuous time. 

Before leaving South Florida for Orlando in 2014 DeCarlo worked the Development Director of Broward House. DeCarlo left The Center in 2018 and came back to South Florida where he started working as a communications manager for Broward County Government.

Check out more news on Terry @

Op-Ed: Goodbye Terry DeCarlo – Cancer Claims Longtime Activist’s Life 


Terry DeCarlo is the Second Winner of SFGN’s 2013 ‘Achievement in Excellence’ Awards.