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Joseph Cardina, newspaper promotions director

July 27, 1920 – Dec. 22, 2014

Joseph Cardina of Buffalo, who had a long career with three daily newspapers and Sylvania Television Co., died Dec. 22 at Garden Gate Nursing Facility in Cheektowaga after a long illness. He was 94.

A lifelong resident of Buffalo, he graduated from the University of Buffalo, where he was a member of the first class of the civilian pilot training program.

In 1943, Mr. Cardina graduated as a U.S. Army Air Corps single-engine pilot. He was released from active duty in 1945. He continued in the U.S. Army Reserve and was recalled to active duty during the Berlin Crisis in October 1961. His service spanned 30 years, including the New York National Guard.

In 1945, he joined the Sears Roebuck advertising department and was later hired by the Victor Safe and Equipment Co., a subsidiary of the Remington Rand Co. of North Tonawanda.

His newspaper career began in 1948, when he was hired by the Tonawanda News’ advertising department, a position he held for two years before joining the advertising ranks of the Sylvania Television Co.

During the early 1950s, he edited and produced the first monthly television listings of local stations, which were distributed at the checkout counters of the former Loblaw supermarkets.

Mr. Cardina served as assistant promotions director at the Courier-Express from 1951 to 1960. He enjoyed promoting the Western New York Golden Gloves boxing tournaments. He also promoted the under-17 All-America Baseball Association Tournament.

As promotions director at The Buffalo News from 1960 to 1983, Mr. Cardina produced radio and television commercials publicizing the newspaper. In the early 1960s, he was publicity director for the nationally televised All-America College All-Star Football games at War Memorial Stadium. He also promoted appearances of the Harlem Globetrotters, along with creating and directing promotional events for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres, including the Sabres’ open practice and Meet the Bills Night at War Memorial Stadium.

Additionally, he created the sports information quiz, a sports trivia feature of the sports pages that he wrote for five years. He also served as a judge in The News’ annual spelling bee, as well as the New York State final competition at the State Fair in Syracuse.

Other duties at The News included editing and producing The News News, a monthly inhouse publication, for 20 years.

Mr. Cardina served as a member of the Erie County Recreation Advisory Board. He also was a founding member of the Knights of Columbus First Friday Club of Buffalo and was a former secretary-treasurer for the group. Mr. Cardina also was a volunteer driver for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra from 1990 to 2008. He was a theater enthusiast, enjoyed all kinds of music, played weekly racquetball games into his early 80s and enjoyed reading.

Survivors include five daughters, Teresa, Margaret and Catherine Cardina, Carol Schmidt and Mary Rice; a son, Joseph Cardina; four sisters, Dorothy Hausle, Anne Marie Peters, Helen Reilly and Angela Beck; and nine grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9 a.m. Tuesday in St. Margaret Catholic Church, 1395 Hertel Ave.

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