John Elmo Cardone, Sr.

December 15, 1927 ~ June 30, 2011

Mr. John Elmo Cardone, Sr., 83, of Lake Charles, born to eternal life at 3:15 p.m., Thursday, June 30, 2011. He passed peacefully at his home surrounded by his wife, four children and family.

Mr. Cardone was born on December 15, 1927, in Madisonville, Louisiana. He graduated from St. Paul Catholic High School in Covington, Louisiana. He attained his Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He married Madge Niel of Lake Charles on April 23, 1950. He was a devoted, loving husband for 61 years.

As a lifelong parishioner of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, Mr. Cardone will warmly be remembered as a leader, benefactor, and faithful servant to the Lord. He served as Lector, Eucharistic Minister, and member and chairman of the Parish Council and West Deanery Pastoral Council. He also served as a member and chairman of the building committees for Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church and School, the Msgr. Irving A. DeBlanc Family Life Center, Aquatic Center, Villa Maria Retirement Home and St. Charles Retreat Center. He was a trustee for OLQH and served on the Board of Directors for St. Louis High School for seven years. In 1983, OLQH recognized him with the Unique Service Award and in 1987 the Devoted Service Award. In 1989, the Diocese of Lake Charles honored him with the Family of the Year Award. Mr. Cardone served on the Bishop's Task Force on long range planning for Diocesan Catholic Schools. He was an active member of the Serra Club of Lake Charles and Msgr. Cramer's Assembly Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus. Two of his greatest religious honors were when Pope John Paul II appointed him to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in 1989 and when Our Lady Queen of Heaven Church and the Diocese of Lake Charles selected him to receive Holy Communion from the Pope.

Mr. Cardone was Co-Founder, Owner and Vice President of Cesco, a successful proprietary chemical and high technology service business. He managed new branch operations, start-ups, expansions and foreign operations in Italy, Mexico and Kuwait. After selling the company in 1971, he worked as a stockbroker. Prior to that, he was a chemist and process engineer for Olin Mathieson Chemical Corporation. Since 1975, he owned and operated Cardone Enterprises, a real estate development and construction company, including rental investments and property management. Mr. Cardone also served as Commissioner and Vice President on the Chennault Industrial Airpark Authority.

He loved spending time with his family. He especially enjoyed family get-togethers, vacations and sharing childhood stories and memories of growing up in Madisonville. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating and spending family time at his camp. He always looked forward to church adoration and spiritual retreats at Our Lady of the Oaks at Grand Coteau. He will be remembered for his devotion to his wife, family, church and friends.

Mr. Cardone leaves to honor his memory his loving wife, Madge Niel Cardone, two sons and two daughters; Gwen Cardone Gillis and her husband John of Baton Rouge, John E. Cardone, Jr. and his wife Karen of Lake Charles, Jay Anthony Cardone and his wife Melissa of Lake Charles and Mary Cardone McGinn and her husband Andy of Lafayette; eight grandchildren, Scott Fischer and his wife Janet of Edmond, Oklahoma, John E. Cardone, III, Kristen Cardone George and Kathryn Cardone of Lake Charles, Benjamin Rees Cardone of Lafayette, and Brandt McGinn, Easton McGinn and Drue McGinn of Lafayette; one great grandchild, Marleigh Grace George of Lake Charles; two step-grandchildren, Leigh Ann Gillis Jordan and her husband Landon and Mark Gillis of Baton Rouge and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his father Joseph Salvadore Cardone and his mother Eunice Stein Cardone; one sister, Rowena Dornier Morris and her husband Ray Morris of Baton Rouge; two brothers, Curtis Cardone, Sr., and his wife Concetta Niel Cardone of Lake Charles and Joseph H. Cardone and his wife Virginia Bach Cardone of Arizona.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 11:00 a.m., Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, Lake Charles. The Most Reverend Bishop Glen John Provost is Presider. Msgr. James M. Gaddy, Pastor, OLQH, is Celebrant. Father T.L. Herlong is Homilist. Interment will be at Consolata Cemetery. Visitation will be at Johnson Funeral Home Tuesday, July 5, 2011, from 4-8 p.m,, with the Rosary at 6 p.m. Visitation will continue on Wednesday from 9:00 a.m. until the service at 11:00.

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Memories Timeline


  1. I only knew John for 8 years while I was supervisor at Villa Maria. What an awesome man and smile that made you so at ease. John was never arrogant but so humble in all of his dealings. A truly great servant to the church and his family. My prayers are with the Cardone family. Sincerely, Ted Baio Achille Oklahoma

  2. John Cardone, Jr., Family,My deepest sympathy prayers to you and your family in the loss of your Dad.Cathy Smith, Former Waste Water employee

  3. John, Gwen, Jay, Mary and Mrs Cardone. I was truly saddened to hear of the passing of Mr. Cardone. He was a wonderful person. I have so many fond memories of him. Every time I talked with him he was always interested in what was going on in my life. Never once did he make me feel not welcome in his home. I remember him taking all of us hunting when he didn't have to. The many talks we had. I have always tried to raise my family the way he raised his. He was a man that when he told you something it paid you to pay attention because it was only going to help you to become a better person. Every once in a while a person like Mr. Cardone will come into your life if you are so blessed, and I was blessed to have him come into mine. I look back in my life and know that God blessed me to have him in my life. Whenever I reached some crossroads in my life I would asked myself what would Mr. Cardone think or do about this, and knowing the answer from all his talks with me helped me to do the right thing. I loved Mr. Cardone and will truly miss him.

  4. John, I send love and virtual hugs to you, Karen and your family. I know exactly how difficult this time is for all of you, but you are well supported with love, concern, and empathy from many people, including me! Jan

  5. Mary, I am so sorry to hear the news of your dad. I will have you in heart with thoughts and prayers and will see you on Tuesday during visitation hours. Love ya, Renee

  6. Mrs. Cardone, Jay, and family, I am so sorry for your loss. I will always remember Mr. Cardone's welcoming smile and love for his family. Praying for the family. Margaret Castille

  7. Mrs. Cardone, John, Gwen, Jay, and Mary I was saddened to hear of the death of your husband and father. Mr. Cardone was a special man that had an everlasting effect on my life and the lives of many other people. I have fond memories of our times together and the guidance that he gave me which always seemed to be at the right time. Sometimes the guidance was during a duck hunting trip, but often it was just a discussion in the living room of your home. I have tried to raise my family in a way that would make Mr. Cardone proud and many times I have reflected upon what he would do or what guidance he would give as I have made decisions in life.

  8. My papa was a great man he was funny and very sweet he defentily deserved those awards that were listrd in his obituaries. It was sad when i found out about his passing:(.He will b greatly missed by friends and family.Instead of waiting 3 days 2 go 2 Heavan he went straight there:)And that is wat i got 2 say about that:D

  9. My thoughts and prayers are with Ms Madge and her family. Mr Mrs Cardone were some of the first people to welcome me to OLQH when I was hired on as Director of high School PREP. I was overwhelmed at the size and diversity of the Parish but they consistenly made me feel a part of the OLQH family with their pleasant dispositions.I was blessed to have known him.

  10. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. He will be greatly missed by our family. The Moss Family:LediaMikeCraig and BethEmily, Erin, Elizabeth, and Ethan.

  11. To the Cardone family, especially to my friends Jay and Mary: Know that you, your mother, and your father are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Julie and I heard about Mr John's passing over the weekend and, although we are unable to attend, we pay our respects to a truly fine and remarkable man who was the definition of character, class, and integrity. Am fortunate to have known your dad over the years, and it was men like that who always left the deepest impressions on others in positive ways. In the summer of 2009, during a weekend trip to Lake Charles for Father's Day, I decided to pay a visit in the morning to the adoration chapel at OLQH to say a rosary and reflect. Lo and behold, Mr John and Mrs Madge Cardone were there with me at the same time! Their presence that day made the visit even more special to me! Am a regular adorer at our parish of St Peter in Covington, LA and plan on dedicating a rosary to the apostolic life of Mr John E Cardone, Sr and his beautiful family!

  12. We want to extend our personal condolences to both John, Jr. Jay Cardone who we know professionally through their connection with the Lake Charles Housing Authority. We have enjoyed our working relationship with John, Sr. as well and always appreciated his kind, gentle and uplifting words to both us and his tenants who rented from him. We wanted you all to know that we share in your loss. We care.Faye Ford Deborah Doshier

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