Scontrino’s personal tragedy perhaps his biggest trial
Published 12:00 am Monday, April 4, 2005
LAPLACE – While Joey Scontrino is well-known in St. John Parish for his tremendous success with Landcraft Homes, those who know him up close understand the personal tragedy he has endured.
Scontrino makes it clear that the marriage he had, and the death of his wife Tammy in 2001, have had a lifelong effect on much of who he is today.
After marrying his childhood sweetheart at the age of 19, Scontrino had a marriage that most people only dream of having.
“She was one of those women who was just my best friend. Having her as my wife was like winning the lottery twice,” he said.
The couple had two children, and through Scontrino’s business life, he attributes much of his success to the support his wife Tammy provided.
“I know it’s cliché, but they say there is a strong person behind every successful man, and she was definitely that for me,” he said.
Tammy died four years ago at the young age of 40 after battling breast cancer for five years. Scontrino tells several stories of the support his wife provided at several crucial points of his business life.
“I remember when I quit the Marathon job on the first day and came home to her. A lot of wives might have gotten mad and worried about what we would do to survive. Instead she just got an eight-pack of the old Miller Pony’s out of the refrigerator, and we just talked, drank and laughed together,” he said.
When he was at another crossroads in life, following the loss of his job from the RTC shutting down Landmark Land, it was his wife who fully supported his idea of starting his own business.
“It would have been easy to be safe with what money we had. But I remember us just sitting together one night, and talking about whether I should start our own homebuilding business. She was always giving me the confidence to do things. She was all that I wasn’t,” he recalled.
After she died, Scontrino said it affected him in another positive way in his relationship with his two children, a son age 20, and a daughter who is now 21.
“I understand that life is this big,” he said, holding up his hand with fingers only an inch apart. “I look at my kids and try to spend more time with them, and be much closer. Even though they are both attending college in New Orleans, we have dinner together at least once a week.”
Two years after the death of his wife, Scontrino said he finally began dating.
“I started dating one woman and have been with her ever since,” he said. “But I don’t know if I ever will be able to marry again. Tammy was one of those people with such a big heartŠ.that was what attracted me to her. And the death of your wife is something you just never completely get over.”