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Family, friends and colleagues remembering Harvey Vengroff

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - "Today the world lost a great man," said Mark Vengroff.

Vengroff could hardly hold back tears talking about his dad.  Harvey Vengroff passed away early this morning with his family by his side including his wife Carol, after battling some health issues.  He was 77 years old.

"I kind of knew it was coming for a few days but it wasn't something that I think any of us could prepare for, so we're kind of still in a little bit of a daze," said Mark Vengroff.

For years, Vengroff has been leading the effort to find affordable housing for so many on the Suncoast and beyond, transforming old hotels and motels into apartments that folks can afford.  It's a business he ran with both of his sons Mark and Travis.

"I felt like he lived a very great life and he was with us and gave us a lot of tools that we need to succeed, us being his kids and family and him, being gone I'll miss him," said Travis Vengroff.

His sons tell us Harvey Vengroff was always looking to help people who needed it, especially those struggling to find a place to live.  Today's news came as a shock to Wendy Vasquez.  She was working closely with Harvey and the Vengroff family to find buildings to help the homeless and victims of human trafficking.

"We lost an angel that is here on earth, has done so much for the community for Sarasota, for people" said Vasquez.

Mark and Travis Vengroff say they will continue to grow the affordable housing foundation that their dad has built.  They plan on not touching his office and leaving it just the way it is.  It's a place that always had an open door policy for anyone.

"Over the last couple of years, he's helped 19 people become millionaires with their ideas, by just showing them the way," said Travis Vengroff.

"One of the things he wanted to make sure was that we promise to continue his legacy," said Mark Vengroff.

Per his wishes, there will not be a memorial service for Harvey Vengroff.

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