Local Folks: The Tucci Family

Local Folks: The Tucci Family
Tucci family boating

Matt Tucci is the Jacksonville Market Director of Hardage-Giddens Funeral Homes and Cemeteries. Employed in an industry considered “first responders,” never able to shut its doors during the pandemic, Tucci has been working almost nonstop. “It keeps me pretty busy,” he said. But when asked what he and his family do outside of business hours, he said, “We boat a lot!”

Matt and Tammy Tucci
Matt and Tammy Tucci

Tucci and his wife, Tammy, grew up in a little city called Lexington in South Carolina where they spent much time boating on a nearby lake. Today, they own a vacation home there. “Boating has been a part of our lives since we met,” Tucci said.

They came to Jacksonville nearly four years ago when Tucci was promoted to his current position. They lived in Avondale for a brief time before buying their home on the Ortega River where they enjoy sunset cruises most evenings.

The Tuccis have three children—Matthew (17), Bella (15), and Lola (11). Matthew is a junior at Bishop Kenny High School where Bella is a freshman. Lola is in fifth grade at Assumption Catholic.

Though much of their time on the water is spent on the Ortega River, a Tucci family favorite is tying up in the St. John River to watch on jumbo screen the Jaguars play home games while listening to the play-by-play on the boat’s radio.

Matthew, Lola, and Bella Tucci
Matthew, Lola, and Bella Tucci

Another favorite is meeting with friends on their respective boats at Whitey’s Fish Camp Restaurant on Doctor’s Lake in Fleming Island where they can listen to live bands on weekends. “That’s the extent of our social gatherings these days,” Tucci said. He shared that many people have gotten into boating this past year as a good way to keep socially distanced while still being together. He and his family had already been doing that.

Lola and Matt Tucci
Lola and Matt Tucci

In fact, his current 25-foot center console is the seventh boat he’s owned. “We used to have a pontoon boat when the kids were little. We moved into a power boat when the kids got older. We bought a ski boat when they wanted to learn how to wakesurf and wakeboard. As they have grown, our boats have changed,” he said.

Though he used to enjoy fishing, Tucci says he hardly has time for it anymore. When he’s not working or boating, he’s attending the kids’ sporting events. Both of his girls are involved with competitive cheer. They are each on a travel team, and both teams have won bids to compete nationally in this year’s annual championship round.

Regarding his son, “He’s just smart,” Tucci said. Matthew used to play a lot of sports but now spends more time volunteering and studying. Soon, he will be heading north to the University of South Carolina for a pre-dental program.

As Matthew makes plans to move north, his dad considers what he likes about being south. “There’s a heck of a lot of things to do in Jacksonville—the river, the beach, major sporting events,” he said. Coming from a smaller state to a larger city has served Tucci well!     

By Mary Wanser
Resident Community News

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