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Joseph Kardwell

December 28, 1935 ~ November 7, 2020 (age 84)


Joseph Kardwell of Orient, NY, passed away suddenly on November 7, 2020, at his home.  His beloved wife of 46 years, Nancy Kardwell, was with him during his final moments.  Joe was 84 years old.                                                                                                                                                                                 

Born and raised in Manhattan, Joe was a professional magician from his late teens through his early thirties, performing on Caribbean cruise ships, in major New York City Hotels, and in other venues in the U.S., Canada, and Bermuda.  Joe appeared on many TV programs, including The Ed Sullivan Show, The Paul Winchell Show, and Sesame Street during its earliest days.  Later, he was the creator and publisher of the original Magic Magazine. 

After his time in magic, Joe worked for J. Walter Thompson, Sudler & Hennessey, and other New York City advertising agencies.  He then pursued an over-fifty-year career as an entrepreneur.  He was founder and President of Magic for Madison Avenue, which provided products and performers for magic-themed sales promotions and special-event magic productions.  Joe established JKI, Inc., a rare stamp investment company.  Together with his wife, Nancy, he built and eventually sold Kardwell Associates, Inc., an advertising agency focused on the pharmaceutical and tourism industries, and Kardwell International, Inc., a distribution business offering promotional and entertainment products, located in Mattituck, NY. 

Joe enjoyed flowers, listening to music, cooking, reading, sunbathing, swimming, stock trading, watching the news and films, traveling, and spending time with his beloved family and friends.  He was a 67-year member of the Society of American Magicians.  Joe was known by many for his lively, personable, and fun-loving nature as well as his quick wit and great sense of humor. 

Joe is survived by his wife, Nancy, seven children and their spouses:  Karen Kardwell and her wife, Nancy Carlisi; Regina Gruber and her husband, Jonathan; Linda Conti and her husband, Ronnie; Joey Burke; Irene Walker and her husband, Al; J.J. Kardwell; and Ross Kardwell and his wife, Aleksandra; 16 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.  

Due to Coronavirus considerations, a graveside service will be held for family members at the Orient Central Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Joe may be made to the Orient Fire Department Rescue Squad (23300 Main Rd, Orient, NY 11957), or PBS Station Thirteen (825 8th Ave, New York, NY 10019). 



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Orient Fire Department
23300 Main Rd, Orient NY 11957

PBS Station Thirteen
825 8th Ave, New York NY 10019

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