Funeral set for former U.S. Senate candidate Wil Cardon

The former Arizona Senate candidate Wil Cardon died Saturday.

Funeral services for businessman and former Republican U.S. Senate candidate Wil Cardon will take place at 11 a.m. Friday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Chapel at 4225 N. 56th St., Phoenix.  

Cardon, scion of a Mesa family whose $10 million gift helped start the Cardon Children's Medical Center in Mesa, died Saturday. He was 46 years old.

Cardon, who had suffered from depression for several years, took his own life, the family confirmed.

“Today a father, husband, son, brother and friend to so many left our family to be with the greatest angels, of which he will now be one,” Cardon’s widow, Nicole, and the family said in a prepared statement.

“It is no secret Wil struggled with depression. He tried mightily for us, for himself and for all to overcome it. 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, who was a real estate investor based in Mesa, ran against then-Congressman Jeff Flake in the 2012 Republican Senate primary. Flake won the race by almost 50 points, after Cardon had spent $6 million of his own money on the race.

Flake posted two remembrances of Cardon on Twitter:

In 2014, Cardon ran briefly in the GOP primary for secretary of state.

The Cardons are a pioneer Mormon family that first settled in Arizona in 1876.

Wil Cardon's grandfather, Wilford Cardon, founded an oil company and a chain of gas stations. The company would grow into a real estate investment firm.

Here is the full statement by Nicole Cardon and the Cardon family:

“Today a father, husband, son, brother and friend to so many left our family to be with the greatest angels, of which he will now be one.

The only thing that can ease tears at a moment like this is remembering Wil’s smile that was as wide as Arizona, especially when it came to our five children.

His gregarious approach to life, business, our family and his faith enriched all who were fortunate to enjoy his warm embrace.

I know first hand the incredible love he had for people. Although highly successful in both the business and philanthropic arenas, 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.

It is no secret Wil struggled with depression.  He tried mightily for us, for himself and for all to overcome it. We are proud of how he faced this disease with openness and honesty. Today it finally took him, as it takes far too many. 

Few would want to say more about the person we will remember forever than our family, but we hope our privacy can be respected to grieve, and to plan a tribute that has come far too early.”

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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