Mark Damien Scioneaux, 58, a resident of Houston and native of LaPlace, LA passed away unexpectedly on April 22, 2019.
His husband Stanton Welch of Houston, TX, sister Dana Bonnette of LaPlace, LA, brother Lee Scioneaux of Baton Rouge, LA and brother Todd Scioneaux of Baton Rouge, LA, survive him. He also leaves behind his nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and great-nephew to cherish the memory of their special Uncle Mark. He was preceded in death by his parents John "Bert" and Nancy (Springer) Scioneaux.
Mark was raised in La Place, Louisiana. Growing up he loved spending time with his father whether it was fishing in Dulac, Louisiana or gardening in their back yard. Mark first became intrigued and fell in love with nature and plants at an early age, learning from his dad about vegetables, flowers, and fruit trees. Mark learned about cooking and appreciating good food from both his mom and dad.
He graduated from St. Charles Catholic High School and went on to attend Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge. He fell in love with landscape architecture and decided to make it his career. He graduated from LSU’s top ranked landscape architecture school in 1984. He started his career in Houston until he decided, “California was calling his name.” During his California career he led a team of landscape architects designing Municipal projects and Master Plans for new communities. He is credited with designing a park in Fresno that received an award from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). Always being concerned about nature, he later went on to design the first Water Wise Demonstration Gardens in Los Angeles that supported water conservation. Mark left a lasting impression on the landscape of southern California and a reputation with his clients of being a very talented and caring professional.
Mark returned to Houston and worked for a decade at McDugald Steele designing many incredible gardens in Houston in addition to various international locations. In 2007 he started the Tellepsen Landscaping firm along with his business partner Marc Tellepsen. An artist, visionary, mentor, and integral part of the success of the firm is how his friend and business partner described him. To the designers, he was their north star. They all went to him for guidance and inspiration. His happiest times were when he walked beautiful gardens he created with the young designers. Each and every time any one of them accompanied him was a learning experience. He was filled with so much talent and wisdom and he so graciously wanted to pass down that knowledge to as many designers and architects as he could.
While at Tellepsen Landscaping, in 2013, Mark received the Stars of Design Award for Landscape Design, after being nominated and selected by their peers. Also, the firm’s designs were part of Houston’s Garden Conservancy tours.
One of his favorite significant finished jobs is the Staff’s Garden.
His tasteful, simplistic approach to design was a refined talent that the majority of clients fell in love with. It is no doubt, that Houston’s design community has lost one of the greatest landscape architects and visionaries.
Mark’s kind nature led him to become involved with Casa de Esperanza in 2006 and was instrumental in the design of the Casa de Esperanza neighborhood of ten homes. It was a place where infants and children live while in care of Casa de Esperanza in its residential program. Mark was committed to saving trees and making it a child-friendly environment with plenty of green space and a large play- ground area. Through this project, Mark saw the needs of the children in Casa’s
care and became a weekly volunteer in the residential program. During that time, he supported the Hands of Hope Interns that care for the children. He would read to children, assist the staff with playground time and was a positive role model for all. His smile was contagious, and he could make children laugh and the staff appreciated his support.
Mark also built many deep friendships within the Houston Ballet family. He and his husband, Stanton, were married on December 29, 2018 during an intimate, candle-light ceremony at Hermann Park’s Centennial Gardens. They shared this celebration with family from Louisiana, Utah and Australia.
The Houston Ballet board, staff, dancers, crew and students grieve Mark’s loss, “Words cannot express the sadness our Houston Ballet family feels over the sudden loss of Mark. We will dearly miss Mark, the loving husband of our artistic director, Stanton Welch. He exuded a genuine warmth, with a kindness and big heart that defined him. He even played a small part in the annual Nutcracker performance for the last few years, dressing up as Santa. With his white beard and his infectious smile he brought joy to everyone around. Simply put, everyone loved Mark. And, we will work to keep his memory, his love and his kind spirit alive.”
Mark and Stanton shared a love for their four dogs, Bondi, Adelaide, Ugo and Matilda. They shared some wonderful times during their travels together most recently to Scotland. Mark’s sense of wonder about everything ensured there would always be an adventure to share.
In addition to beautiful flowers and plants, Mark loved his family. He loved his parents and had too short a time with them. Upon returning to LaPlace to visit over the years, he enjoyed spending time with his mom whose sense of fun he inherited. He loved his brothers and sisters deeply and with fierce loyalty. He was a wonderful uncle and Godfather, always attentive and involved, cherishing every moment of them growing up. He loved family gatherings with both close and distant relatives. With love and pride for his French and German heritage, he did extensive genealogical research going back many generations. He brought his research to life upon visiting his ancestral homes around the world.
This talented artist left as his legacy many beautiful gardens for future generations. But he also cared deeply about the influence of landscape architecture as an integral part of the environment. He said once that he wanted people to enjoy their gardens and think of him when he was gone. Heaven has truly gained a special soul with his passing.
Stanton asks “let's talk about him as an artist who impacted the city he loved tremendously and as an award winning Landscape Architect who gave his clients and people of this city living, growing, blooming art.”
Love and miss you Tulip man!
"Come see me."
A funeral mass will be celebrated on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at one o’clock in the afternoon at St. Anne Catholic Community, 2140 Westheimer Road in Houston. A reception will follow in St. Basil’s Hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Mark’s memory may be sent to Casa de Esperanza, PO Box 66581, Houston, TX 77266- 6581, https://www.casahope. org/make-a-donation2.
Casa de Esperanza
PO Box 66581, Houston TX 77266-6581