A Family Funeral Home

Larry D. Cardwell

November 14, 1940 - February 26, 2021
Racine, WI



At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

Racine Vocational Ministry
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Larry D. Cardwell, age 80, passed away of Parkinson's and Covid 19 with his wife by his side Friday, February 26, 2021, at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital, Milwaukee.

He was born in Gary, IN, son of the late Robert and Lyla (Nee:Bowers) Cardwell.

Larry graduated from New Castle, Indiana High School “Class of 58.”. He furthered his education at Ball State University earning a BS with honors and also received a MPA with distinction from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University. Larry was also a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute in Charlottesville, VA as well. Larry was employed by the US Government, Interior, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation which ultimately became the Heritage, Conservation and Recreation Service, US Department of the Interior headquartered in Washington D.C. Subsequently he was Executive Staff for the Assistant Secretary of Energy and Minerals US Department of the Interior. Prior to his Federal Executive position heading up Management and Budget in the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation US Department of the Interior - in that capacity he administered the Land and Water Conservation Fund. It was there that he met Ellen R. Greenspan Reiss and on New Years Day 1983 they were united in marriage. In 2007 they retired to Racine, WI.

Larry was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Racine. His interests included photography, singing, pencil drawing artwork and college football. Larry will be remembered for serving on the Boards of the Racine Vocational Ministry and the Choral Arts Society of Southeastern Wisconsin in which he sang tenor. In Washington DC, he was one of the founders of the award-winning St Mark's Players at St Mark's Episcopal Church on Capitol Hill where he also participated in many productions *(see photograph - Larry in costume performing in "Fiddler on the Roof"} For over 40 years, he also held a number of volunteer assignments in the Washington DC area.

He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Ellen; two daughters, Danna (Dennis) Shirley of Brownsburgh IN, Lisa Cardwell of Zionsville,IN; grandsons, Ricky and Johnny Shirley; stepson, Adam Reiss of Anaconda, MT; other relatives and dear friends. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Michael.

Due to COVID, services will be held when we can all safely gather. Memorials to the Racine Vocational Ministry have been suggested.

The family wishes to extend a special thank you to James Schatzman, Executive Director of the Racine Vocational Ministry and to Tina Schemming, his long time home aide.