Catholic 07

Alfonso Augusto Cardenas

July 8, 1943 ~ January 28, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old

Alfonso Cardenas Obituary

Alfonso Augusto Cárdenas moved like a fish in water when it came to politics and civic education. They were always his passion, both in his native country and here in the United States, where he knew by heart the intricacies of the political parties and the sometimes  incomprehensible frameworks of our society. Much of what the people who knew him know about American politics they learned from him, listening to him over and over again about the importance of knowing the subject so as not to be passive spectators of the processes that sooner or later would affect us all. He wanted more Latino voices to be heard; he frequently wrote to his senators or federal representatives; he always asked elected officials for answers, vehemently criticized the injustices of both political parties against immigrants, and lived convinced that things could improve for everyone when we all actively participated. 

His family history, like that of many Colombians, had been marked by the violent impact of an undeclared and relentless war to which many of his generation were exposed and that is why in this country he found the peace and security that his land had denied him. Son of Limbania Oviedo and Luis Alfonso Cardenas, Alfonso put down roots in the United States in 1963. Perhaps because of his commitment to his new country and his school preparation in military institutes in Colombia, he wanted to be, and became, a New York City police officer in the 1970s. For many years he was also a USSF soccer referee, the most memorable of his refereeing being a friendly match between South American clubs Millonarios and Boca Juniors in 1977 at the Randall's Island stadium, also in New York. A lover of media platforms, Alfonso edited and published a successful soccer magazine that circulated in Houston and Miami in the 80s and 90s called “Estadio.” (Stadium)

When he moved from Florida to Georgia at the beginning of this century he had already been a public official and immigration policy aide to Congressman Peter Deutsch (FL-20). Alfonso encountered a Colombian community that was arriving in our state displaced and aimless. And then, as he always was, he generously helped many immigrants navigate the governmental and civic systems of this country. He helped countless people to move through their immigration processes and above all to respect the laws of this land and adapt to their new reality. Those were the moments when Alfonso came to touch our lives in this community most intimately.

For some years Alfonso was a columnist for the El Nuevo Georgia newspaper and in 2004 he was the first Hispanic to run for Gwinnett County School Board, District 1 when few understood its importance. 

During past Colombian presidential elections he remained active working as one of the observers of those electoral processes at the Colombian consulate here in Atlanta. 

On the night of this past December 24th, when everyone was celebrating the birth of Jesus, Mr. Cárdenas was heading to his home in Lawrenceville to meet with his family, when a drunk driver rammed into his vehicle, fleeing and leaving him very badly injured. From there Alfonso began a battle to survive those injuries and other injuries and complications that arose during his stay at Northside Hospital Gwinnett. There he died on Sunday, January 28th. He was 80 years old.

Alfonso had many things left to tell and a case load that at his 80 years he still carried because working gave him life. Just as importantly, also left behind were the many lives touched by his generosity and the souls of those who loved him and are devastated by his departure.

Loving father of Jessica, Alfonso, Cesar, Andrea, and Augusto, he is also survived by his granddaughters Julia, Sabrina, and Chloe, his sister Teresa, former wives Luz M. Cardenas and Nelly Hernandez, and other beloved family and friends.

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Services

Funeral Mass
Monday
February 5, 2024

1:00 PM
St Lawrence Catholic Church
319 Grayson Hwy,
Lawrenceville, GA 30046

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