Richard P. Cardoza, 88
Richard P. “Mr. C” Cardoza passed away peacefully on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016, after 15 months of wrestling with dementia and Alzheimer’s. “Mr. C,” as many affectionately called him, was being visited and comforted by his loving wife, family and friends when he passed at the Royal Nursing Center in Fairhaven. He was 88 years old.
Richard was born in Fairhaven on Jan. 15, 1928 the only child of Mary (Sylvia) Cardoza and Manuel J. Cardoza.
Growing up on Sconticut Neck led to his love for boating. He was happiest cruising to Menemsha for an overnight on the “Lo-Ri-Le” or a weekend at the yacht club in Falmouth harbor with his family. His last boat “Sea Ya” was where he and his wonderful wife Martha would entertain their children, grandchildren and friends in his later years.
Even in the midst of his illness Richard could fondly give details of sailing out of Mattapoisett harbor in the early 1960’s with friend David Ward.
During Prohibition his father operated two “Speakeasies” in New Bedford. After repeal in 1933 the family received the first “package store” license in New Bedford and opened the “Union Street Wine Shoppe” at 253 Union St. They sold the store and purchased a property on Route 6 and Sconticut Neck Road in Fairhaven in 1934 where the business still operates today.
In 1945 Richard began his career at Cardoza’s Package Store. For the next 55 years he grew the business. His signature “Bazooka Bubble Gum,” which he faithfully handed to every kid who came in with his or her parents, along with his warm smile, quite possibly made him the best known proprietor in Fairhaven to several generations.
In October of 1990, Cardoza’s Package Store was transformed into the Cardoza’s Wine & Spirits chain and began supporting numerous local organizations including the United Way, the Zeiterion Theatre, Waterfront Historic Area League, NB Child & Family Services, New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, The Whaling Museum and UMASS Dartmouth to name just a few. In 2010, after 55 years in the industry, “Mr. C” retired.
Richard is survived by his loving wife Martha “Marty” (George) Cardoza, his two daughters Leslie Bell and Lorrie Cardoza, his son Richard Cardoza and wife Jane, his five grandchildren Kimberly Bell, Nicholas Cardoza, Richard Walsh, Mitchell Cardoza and Hallie Cardoza, and his former wife Bessie (Kapopoulos) Cardoza. He also leaves his stepchildren, Douglas MacLean, Kim Liarikos and husband John, and Lauren Fontaine and husband Chuck; his step-grandchildren, Brittany MacLean, Dodie and Andre Fontaine, and Emma Liarikos; and a step-great-granddaughter, Nora Knight. He is also survived by many past employees who loved him dearly.
Special thanks go to our dear friend Michael “Gomesie” Gomes who visited with Mr. C weekly when family members couldn’t be there.
Complying with Richard’s wishes there will be no public viewing or service. His body will be cremated and his remains will be spread over Buzzard’s Bay and Cape Cod Bay. A private family memorial service will be held to celebrate Richard’s life in early November.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in the name of Richard P. Cardoza to Fairhaven High School Alumni Association at www.fairhavenalumni.org/index.php/detail/donate.
Arrangements are being made by the Saunders-Dwyer Mattapoisett Home for Funerals, 50 County Rd., Route 6, Mattapoisett. For online condolence book, please visit www.saundersdwyer.com.