John H. Cardellina

June 17, 1924 - July 28, 2011 

John H. Cardellina

June 17, 1924 - July 28, 2011 

Obituary for John H. Cardellina

John H. Cardellina The life of John Cardellina was one of never-ending love. Though his journey on earth was completed on July 28, 2011, the love he has for family, friends, his faith, his Italian heritage, the Knights of Columbus, the Navy, the Washington Redskins, Arizona Wildcats, Arizona Diamondbacks, and New York Rangers will live on through generations to come. Born in New York City on June 17, 1924 to Giovanni Battista Cardellina and Margherita Pistochini, John was destined to become a caretaker in life to so many loved ones. He would also serve the Knights of Columbus for over 50 years, holding many offices, the highest of which was State Master of Arizona. In 1945, while serving in the Navy, he married Gertrude Grote, who brought along two young daughters, creating an instant family. During the five years which followed, living in Washington, DC, three baby-boomers joined the family. Over the next 17 years in the DC area, our Dad worked as a civilian for the Pentagon, the Red Cross and, for a time, the State Department. He closed out his career at Ft. Huachuca as a Communication Specialist with STRATCOM. As for the "caretaker", Dad didn't realize that he was fulfilling a mission in life. He simply saw a need and filled it with love and humor. Among those blessed to have his assistance were his mother-in-law, his own mother, and his wife. It was a particularly difficult task taking care of his wife during her eight-year battle with dementia, but his faith, along with his slapstick antics, helped him through it. Following our mom's passing in 2001, God rewarded dad for his efforts by sending a new love for him to cherish, Ellen O'Dell, who brought along her four adult children to add to our most entertaining family. Remaining to treasure his life, his memory and his comedy routines are: John H. and Bernadette Cardellina II, Bob and Denise (Cardellina) Purdy, Mike and Stefani (Cardellina) Doran, Jim and Charlotte (O'Dell) Swank, Tom and Sue O'Dell, David and Gail O'Dell and David and Cynthia (O'Dell) Perkins, along with 18 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, his cousin, Elda Murin in Tucson and countless friends and brother Knights. Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 30, 2011 at St.Francis de Sales, 1375 S. Camino Seco, Tucson. Donations in memory of John's 'bella vita' (beautiful life) are encouraged to Peppi's House at TMC and the Raul Navarette Vocation Fund of the Knights of Columbus. Arrangements by ADAIR FUNERAL HOMES, Dodge Chapel.

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