João Pereira Cardoso made a courageous move to America in 1960 with his wife, Maria Cardoso, and their four daughters, Arlete, Alyce, Adalgisa, and Alda. He was determined to begin a new life providing better educational and social opportunities. Life in New York City was not without its hardships. Learning a new culture, way of life, and language was challenging and required persevering through many adversities. The endeavors and accomplishments of these times, and those that followed further influenced Vovôspersona and unique character. It strengthened his character of respect, resilience, hard work, integrity, charisma, honor, kindness, and charm.
João Cardoso attended night school to learn English in addition to attending several trade schools acquiring certifications and licenses in plumbing, heating/air conditioning, and electrician work. These efforts placed him on a path that led to a very successful career. He was able to own multiple real estate properties and had many hobbies. His hobbies often included spending quality time with his family. Through many family gatherings Vovôslove for cooking, crushing grapes to make homemade wine, fishing, reading, traveling, and watching futebol matches daily were all activities he shared and passed on to us all. Respect and value for family and strength of family unity were passed down and reflected through family generations. This was enhanced by his connections, relationships, and contributions to Our Lady of Fatima and The Portuguese Instructive Social Club of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Similar to Vovô, the Portuguese immigrants maintained strong ties to the Catholic Church and Portuguese Social Clubs to help preserve a strong sense of community and identity to heritage, culture, and country. It was this continuous foundation and support that led to the significant contributions of the Portuguese community to the American culture. Their involvement and friendships had forever a permanent and special place in their hearts. You were all family. They would travel from Park Avenue and 91stStreet in Manhattan to Elizabeth, New Jersey frequently, making it a priority in their lives. This was their second home. Vovôand Vovo rarely missed a Sunday or event in Elizabeth, New Jersey; they were avid members of Our Lady of Fatima and the Portuguese Social Club. Members and friends speak of high levels of commitment by never saying no when asked to engage in a task or asked to give their time in support of events. João Cardoso had given his time, energy, and heart to countless events and activities for over 40 years. As a dedicated contributor within the community, Vovôpreferred often too subtlety and humbly step aside to praise and credit others. João Cardoso was devoted to responding to necessary maintenance or handy-work requests made by the church or club, generously sharing his skills and trades. João Cardoso was also an active member of The Elizabeth Portuguese Lions Club, The Knights of Columbus, Decorating Committee, and assisted the church and club committees in setting up for all events. Vovôwas instrumental in collecting and providing materials for the committee and Vovo who created beautiful centerpieces, wreaths, floral arrangements, and other décor. One of Vovôsfavorite activities was to contribute and care for the flowers in church and placed to Our Lady of Fatima Statue. They were also active participants in fundraising events including organizing bus trips to Atlantic City. Friends and members speak highly of his great personality and sense of humor. He loved interacting with people, especially during the opportunities he had to bartend during events. He took such pride and joy in this task and all event activities. Vovôwas a passionate supporter of the Portuguese community, advising members to assist each other and grow together. He also engaged with other organizations and businesses in Elizabeth, New Jersey and in New York City hence uplifting the Portuguese community.
João Cardoso is survived by his beloved wife, Maria Cardoso of 67 years, who passed away in 2017, his four daughters, eleven grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren. João Cardoso was a true gentleman again and again emphasized as his greatest attribute by all who knew him. He is remembered in the Portuguese community for his dedication, compassion, inspirational stories, kindness, contagious energy, sense of humor, and uplifting character. João Cardoso believed in family and loyalty. The many friends and family that hold him in their hearts reflect his positive influence on the community. This is his legacy.
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