Born on Oct. 16, 1923, in El Remolino, Coahuila, Mexico, Enrique T. Cardona grew up in a rural farm near Sonora, Texas, where his father worked as a ranch foreman.
As a young man, Enrique worked in various departments at a furniture store before enlisting in the Army at the age of 19 in 1942.
Enrique was still a Mexican national when he volunteered for the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the infantry and sent overseas during World War II. He became an American citizen on July 14, 1944.
Before returning to settle in Houston, Texas, Enrique met and married Joyce Causon in England and together they raised three sons. Upon his return to Houston, Enrique entered the ROTC program at the University of Houston, graduating in 1952 and receiving a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve. He was called into active duty and served overseas during the Korean War. After the war, he returned to Houston and continued his career in the Army Reserve with the 75th Maneuver Area Command (MAC) and achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Enrique was instrumental in the training of thousands of soldiers until 1976. He retired in 1983 with 41 years of active and reserve service to his country.
In addition, Enrique had an exemplary and distinguished civil service career with the U.S. Post Office and then the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.
Enrique is survived by his wife, Magda G. Cardona; three brothers Pablo T. Cardona, Jose Angel T. Cardona, Salvador T. Cardona and their respective wives; four stepchildren, 10 grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, one great-great granddaughter and numerous nieces and nephews. Enrique is preceded in death by his father and mother, Cecilio and Maria Cardona; his brother, Cecilio Cardona, II; his sisters, Clemencia Flores and Eduvina Carruthers; his sons Gary Cardona, Enrique Cardona, II, Robert Cardona; grandson, Jason Cardona and his great-granddaughter, Victoria Cardona. Funeral and visitation will take place at the American Heritage Funeral Home, 10710 Veterans Memorial Drive, Houston, Texas 77038. Visitation will be held Monday, April 29, at 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Services will be held Tuesday, April 30 at 1:30 p.m. Interment at the Houston National Cemetery with military honors.