In Memoriam 

The home building industry family honors the memory of Thomas Anthony Matovina, father to FHBA President, Greg Matovina, through the building of a local YMCA playground. Click here to read the account as told by Greg…

Thomas Matovina, my father, started building houses in the 1970’s in Northwest Indiana and probably built seven or eight in his best year. He moved to Florida in 1982 and worked as a framer and trim carpenter for about 10 years for others. Then in the early 1990’s he started his own trim carpenter firm, which he operated until he retired at age 62.

He raised me and my four brothers in the home building business; putting us to work at a very young age and teaching us how to frame and trim houses. I actually worked on my first house with him when I was 10.

He lived with my wife, Leslie, and I in NW St. Johns County the last eight years of his life and passed away on April 12, 2017, at the age of 85.

When he moved in with us, he discovered our local YMCA and it became his home away from home, where he had friends and social time. Somewhere along the way, he decided to sit by the building’s front door in the morning when gym members attending group fitness classes would pick up their children from daycare. He would pass out lollipops to the kids, and quickly became affectionately known as Mr. Tom to the children.

So, this fall, when we received word that the YMCA’s playground was in disrepair, unsafe, and needed to be torn down, it was easy to recognize this as a project that God had called me and my siblings to manage. Over the past few months, we worked to create an environment that would be worthy of the children who visit and of course, Mr. Tom.


To read more on my father click here.

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