BAY ST. LOUIS, MS (WLOX) - Bay St. Louis's new marina will carry the name of a man who dedicated himself to bringing a harbor to that city but didn't live to see his dream completed. Businessman Jody Compretta died in an accident back in 2008. His widow said he loved Bay St. Louis, and now Bay St. Louis is showing how much the city loved him, too which means a lot to his family.
When Hurricane Katrina washed away much of his beloved Bay St. Louis, Jody Compretta's wife said he was heartbroken.
"He grew up here, and he was so devastated by Katrina," said Maria Compretta. "All the damage that he saw. Where he went to school. Places were gone. He just knew that the town needed something to rebuild and to come back. He got with a group of local business owners and they came up with this marina idea."
Maria Compretta said the new Bay St. Louis harbor is even more magnificent than her late husband dreamed it would be. The harbor can accommodate more than 100 boats and is also a popular spot for walking.
"It's just turned out to be even better than they would have imagined," said Compretta. "It's actually a good feeling to know that his ideas were valued and appreciated. It's a good feeling. It's almost like a closure to something that was on his plate before he passed."
The City of Bay St. Louis is recognizing Jody Compretta's passion for helping the community by naming the marina after him. His widow said it is a place for her children, who were very young with he passed, to feel close to him.
"We're very honored. I think this is something my children can come and see and enjoy for the rest of their lives and know that they're dad was a part of this," Compretta said. "He was just one person, but he joined together with a group. In his passing, this has happened. I think it shows what difference you can make if you work hard and you persevere and you stick with something."
Jody Compretta's wife said his life may have ended when he was only 39-years-old, but the difference he made in this community will be felt for generations to come.
The marina dedication ceremony is Saturday, July 26, at 11 a.m.