Rodolfo Cardona

After 98 years on this earth our dear, proud and strong father,  Rodolfo Cardona, left us on Tuesday, September 20th. Born in San  Jose, Costa Rica on the 17th of January 1924, he was the son of  Ismael and Julia Cardona. He grew up the youngest sibling in a large  family and is now joining his brothers and sisters in the plane that  follows this earthly existence. He has been a guiding force for our  family and a loving caretaker for his wife for over a decade. We will  all look up to him to continue being a light for us to follow. 

Our Papa came to the United States in 1943, at the age of 19, in  order to continue his studies. This began a lifelong journey of  learning and intellectual exploration that spanned many disciplines.  He explored art and sculpture, mathematics, philosophy, languages  and literature. He followed his career opportunities across the  United States starting in Louisiana as an assistant instructor while  obtaining his first degree and continuing at the American Institute of  foreign trade in Phoenix, the University of Washington, Case  Western Reserve in Cleveland, both Catham College(Pittsburgh)and  later the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Texas at Austin  and eventually Boston University from where he retired in 1988  after leading the University Professors 

Program (Interdisciplinary Department) for ten years. He was named professor emeritus at BU in 1991. After retirement he  continued his work becoming Resident Director of the International  Institute in Madrid as well as Academy coordinator of the  Residencia de Estudiantes between 2000 and 2005. 

Throughout this long life he guided and influenced so many: students many of whom later became colleagues and dear friends. He wrote books both to gain insight and to further expand the  understanding of many of his beloved figures of Spanish literature and drama. He wrote stories and novelettes for the sheer enjoyment of it, often sharing stories of his childhood growing up in San Jose.

The latter years of his life he devoted nearly all his prodigious energies to giving to his dearest Electra, wife, mother and yiayia to our family, the care she needed. We are all so grateful to him for the  amazing efforts and sacrifices he made on her behalf. 

Papa exerted a very strong gravitational pull on our family. We came together most every year at the family’s beloved Martha’s Vineyard home and there was nothing our dear father treasured more. He loved to sip wine and regale us with stories or tell jokes. As we continue to gather now without his presence at the table it  will be up to us to carry on and honor his story and his life.


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7 Condolences

  1. Angel & Joan Berenguer on September 23, 2022 at 11:05 pm

    We are terribly sorry to hear the news of your father’s passing. We hold wonderful memories of many shared gatherings with Rudy and Electra in Madrid, Barcelona, Boston and Medford and last sawed then in the Spring of this year. He will be sadly missed by many, and we consider ourselves privileged to have been able to enjoy his conversations, wisdom, knowledge and wonderful friendship. He was a great model for us all and admirable in his humanity, intelligence and many talents. Nunca lo olvidaremos porque siempre han estado cerca de nuestros corazones. Hasta siempre.

  2. Ann Kates on September 24, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    Eleni and family,
    What a treasure to have had him for a father. I only knew him through your stories and he sounded like an exceptional human being. My condolences and blessing to you and your loved ones.
    With love, Ann

  3. Suzanne Ilgun on September 24, 2022 at 5:02 pm

    Dear Eleni and Family,

    Although I never had the honor of meeting your father, I feel as if I knew him a little bit through the wonderful stories of him and your time spent together at Martha’s Vineyard by you Eleni. He seemed like an extraordinary person, who lived an extraordinary life. I am sure he will be very much missed by many people from around the world. May all the wonderful memories of fun and loving times spent together bring comfort and peace to you all at this difficult time.

    With deep condolences,

  4. Michele Marshall on September 24, 2022 at 7:08 pm

    Dear Eleni and family… Your father seems to have had a rich and colorful life. May his stories and your memories sustain and comfort you in your time of loss.
    With love,

  5. Beverley Kessack on September 24, 2022 at 9:46 pm

    My Dear Eleni I am so happy your father lived such a wonderful life your memories will keep you warm on cold nights and always be aware that he is closer now than before and you can talk to him any time. I think of you often and you’re in my prayers. I am glad you had him for so long. Hugs Your extra Mom alias Bev Kessack

  6. Sandra King on September 26, 2022 at 1:13 pm

    My love
    You are loved and we see every beautiful example traveling through you and your family everyday in you!!!!
    Missed but always with us!!!

  7. Indradevi Powers on October 2, 2022 at 4:25 pm

    Dear Eleni, and your family,

    My spiritual tradition says that this universe was created by the One Spirit/Consciousness, that wanted to enjoy Its creation through many. So, we are all manifestations of that consciousness, as well as is all that surrounds us. I’m sure that Roldolfo was one soul who gave much satisfaction to that Spirit, for he delved into so many aspects of this world, enjoying and excelling in all! What is life, if not to bring upliftment and joy to others. I see in Rodolfo, his immense joie de vivre, for nearly a century, demonstrated in everything he put his heart into. May all remember this, and be an example of bringing as much richness to life and this world, as he did. I’m sure there are many many souls who are so happy to be with him, again, in the world that comes next. Bless you all, and may you feel the love he is surely sending you now, and forever! Indradevi

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