Over the weekend, a Republican suddenly died after taking his own life, leaving behind a wife and five children. After his suicide, his wife is speaking out about her now-late husband with a message for others.
According to Fox News, Wil Cardon, an Arizona Republican who unsuccessfully ran against Jeff Flake for the U.S. Senate seat in 2012, died on Saturday. He was 46-years-old. Cardon’s wife, Nicole, said he killed himself after battling “mightily” with depression, a disease he fought “openly and honestly.”
Cardon’s family encouraged others to remember his smile “that was as wide as Arizona,” especially when it came to his five children. “His gregarious approach to life, business, our family, and his faith enriched all who were fortunate to enjoy his warm embrace,” Nicole Cardon said in a statement.
“I think the moments I witnessed with our children, helping a person on the side of the road, or even applying to be a high school football coach are what gave him the most joy,” she added. “We are proud of how he faced this disease with openness and honesty. Today, it finally took him, as it takes far too many.”
Cardon attended Mesa Mountain View High School, later graduating from Stanford University after transferring from Brigham Young University. He earned an MBA from Harvard Business School before taking over his family’s Mesa-based real estate investment business, the Cardon Group.
Cardon ran unsuccessfully as a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2012 against Flake and for secretary of state in 2014. [Source: AZ Central]
Campaign consultant Constantin Querard became friends with Cardon after helping with his Senate race in 2014 against Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake. Querard was shocked at the news of his death, as he had just spoken to Cardon last week. “I know his life was challenging,” said Querard. “I can’t imagine all the reasons that contributed to that,” he continued.
“Caring for one another, for some people, is this thing they hear about on Sundays at church,” Querard added. “For Wil, it was how he lived his every day. He always talked on the campaign trail, and he taught his kids that Cardons leave things better than they find them. For those whose lives he touched, he did leave their world better than he found it,” he said.
State Sen. Steve Montenegro was also Cardon’s friend. “He was a man that loved Arizona,” said Montenegro. “He once told me that what Peter says about Paul says more about Peter than Paul, meaning it’s always important that we speak the best about the folks around us, to always uplift and care about people.”
While Cardon loved his state deeply, Arizona loved him, as well. Indeed, he hailed from a pioneer Arizona family. The Cardon Oil Co. was founded by Wilford Pratt “Pat” Cardon, Cardon’s grandfather, who died in 1969. Wilford A. Cardon, Cardon’s father, is credited with growing the petroleum and gas-station business, expanding into convenience stores, and real-estate investment and development. The Cardon Group’s portfolio includes Subway and Dunkin’ Donuts stores, among numerous other investments.
Judging by the outpouring of support for the family he left behind and the overwhelmingly positive statements his friends and colleagues have made about him, by all accounts, Wil Cardon was a model American, husband, and father. He is precisely the caliber of person we need more of in this world, which only makes his death all the more upsetting. Prayers for his wife and children as they navigate this time of overwhelming grief.