Celebrating the life of

Mario Jose de la Guardia

June 09, 1931 - February 11, 2021

Mario Jose de la Guardia

Mario Jose de la Guardia, 89, died Thursday, February 11, 2021 at his home surrounded by his family.

Mr. de la Guardia was born in Havana, Cuba on June 9, 1931 to Mario and Graciela de la Guardia. He moved to the United States in 1962. He earned his degree in chemical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he also was a Letterman in Swimming.  He later attended Harvard University Business School Management Development Program. While working at Carson Products Company, Mr. de la Guardia invented the revolutionary no-lye relaxer, Dark and Lovely. After a life-long career with Carson Products, he retired as president in 1996. While at Carson Products, he created a literacy program for employees.

Mr. de la Guardia was a communicant of St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, a member of Savannah Yacht Club, Chatham Club, and American Society of Cosmetic Chemists.

Mr. de la Guardia was a longtime supporter of several organizations among them: Old Savannah City Mission, West Broad YMCA, St. Mary’s Community Center, Benedictine Military School, St. Vincent’s Academy, Bethesda Home for Boys and Georgia Tech, where a scholarship for swimming is named in his honor. In the late 60’s and 70’s, he coached Wilshire Swim Team.

On June 10, 2011, he was honored by the City of Savannah with Mario J. de la Guardia Day. Also, in June 2011, he was honored by Gov. Nathan Deal as Distinguished Citizen of the State of Georgia

Surviving are his wife of 62 years, Hilda R. de la Guardia of Savannah, GA; sons, Mario de la Guardia (Deannie) of Amelia Island, FL and Richard W. de la Guardia of Savannah, GA; daughter, Hilda Maria de Coquet (Charles) of Atlanta, GA; brother Patricio de la Guardia of Havana, Cuba and grandchildren, Michael de la Guardia (Josie) of Berkeley, CA, Michelle de la Guardia of Brentwood, TN, Maximilian de Coquet of Atlanta, GA; several nieces and nephews.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:30 p.m., Monday, February 15, 2021 at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will follow at Forest Lawn Memory Gardens. Please wear a mask and practice social distancing.

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Peter the Apostle Church or Georgia Tech Roll Call.

Please sign our online guest book at  To view the service, click on this link a few minutes before service time: .






We will miss you Tio Mario. Love you Padrino

- Eduardo Consuegra, Miami, Florida

Sending prayers of peace and comfort in the loss of your dear husband, father, grandfather and my friend. May fond memories fill the void in your broken hearts. Many memories of my time at Carson with Mario at the helm. Together we produced quality products and developed a long friendship.

- Don & Kathlene Stapleton, Richmond Hill, GA

Nos emocionó mucho ver su sonrisa en esta foto. Tan querido por todos. Nuestro tio que en paz descanse jugando al Domino junto a su papa y su hermano Tony. A pesar de la distancia estamos junto a su viuda Hilda y a sus hijos y nietos. Ileana, Antonio y Jorge

- Ileana Masetti de la Guardia, Paris, FRANCE

We are so sad and sorry for your loss. May he RIP and may all the love and wonderful memories you each have with him give you comfort at this difficult time.

- McCloud, Mac and Tammy, Savannah, GA

A candle has been lit!

- Evetta Stroman, Savannah, Georgia

Tío te vamos a extrañar mucho Definitivamente uno de los grandes de la familia, Como dice mi papá ya está con Popin , Mimi y Tony. Descansa en Paz

- Patricio De La Guardia, Miami , Florida

On behalf of the BC Class of '79, we send our sincere condolences on the loss of "Mr. D" a/k/a "Poppy". Our prayers go out to our valued classmate Mario and Mrs. D, Hilda Marie and Richard on your loss. He, and his Cuban accent and humor, was a valued part of our lives growing up and he will be missed by all of us. BC Class of '79

- BC Class of '79, Savannah, GA

Que descanse en paz el mejor de los de la Guardia. Que Dios lo tenga en su gloria.

- Patricio de la Guardia Font e hijos., Havana, Cuba

We send our most heartfelt condolences to all of you. Our families have been linked for generations and we hope the memories of the good times will sustain you in these difficult ones. Mandamos muchos cariños y abrazos.

- Tom and Jo Lamas, Savannah, GA

So sorry for your loss

- Shirley and Billy whitten, Midway, GA 31320

To the de la Guardia, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Mario was a kind and special man that I was honored to know and briefly work with when I came to Savannah. Rest In Peace Mario.

- Joyce Roche’, Savannah , GA

My heartfelt condolences to your family for the loss of dear Mario. It was my good fortune to have met him and my life would be much different if not for him. He was one of the kindest and most generous people I ever met. He had an amazing adventure in life and I loved to hear his stories. Rest In Peace Mario. I am blessed to have known you and I cherish my memories of you.

- Maryann Holmes, Savannah, Georgia

To The De Le Guardia Family, the passing of Mario, Sr is truly a loss for all of us! He was more than a Boas!!! He was a Friend!!! I’m so grateful have known and share in a friendship with him. May God’s comforting grace be upon you!!!

- Donna Davis Curry, Savannah, Georgia

Hilda, Prayers for you and your family with the passing of Mario. I have only fond memories of Mario from my Dad, and my summers of working at Carson while I was in college. Blessings to you. Dickie Myers

- Richard Lee Myers, Jacksonville, FL

My condolence goes out to the family

- Clifton Jones, Savannah, Georgia

A candle has been lit!

Mario, Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family my friend. When we have to go through loss, we like this scripture, I hope it helps you and yours. Isaiah 41:10 - Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

- Dan and Cindy Howington, Greensboro, Georgia

I am praying for the happy repose of his soul and that Jesus will strengthen you at this time. May Gods blessing be with you.

- Rev Mr Robert D Fritts, Savannah, GA

With deepest sympathy and the fondest of memories we offer our condolences. May Mario’s memory be for a Blessing.

- Dan & Miriam Medow, Bingham Farms, Mi

Mario, Thoughts and prayer are with you during this time of loss.

- Bob Tyler, Gibson, GA

Mario, Kiko Garcia and I were roommates at Ga. Tech for three years besides being friends from Cuba. Mario and Hilda were like family. As a human being, Mario was second to none We will never forget him. Kikop and I have lost a brother.

- Jorge and Mayita Blanco, FL - Key Biscayne, Florida

He sentido mucho la perdida. Marion y yo estuvimos juntos en el colegio De La Salle desde 1939 hasta el 1948 cuando nos graduamos. Luego en el exilio no vimos de vez en cuando con los compañeros. A Hilda y los hijos les mando mi mas sentido pésame.

- Augusto "Kiko" Villalon Sorzano, St. James City, Florida

My deepest condolences to the family. From George Garcia & Maureen O’Brien (son and daughter-in-law of Felix Garcia).

- Garcia, Boston, Massachusetts

A candle has been lit!

Dear Mrs. de la Guardia and family, Dad and I send our heartfelt condolences to you at the passing of Mr. de la Guardia. Mario Sr. and Herman Jr. made a lot of depilatories and shaving powder back in their day. I always enjoyed talking to Mario Sr. while working those summers at Carson Products and the times since. Mario Sr. will be sorely missed.

- Herman H Grotheer III & Jr., Savannah, GA

Hilda and family, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Mario was a character, who always brought a smile to our face ! Fernando and Peggy. Perez

- Fernando and Peggy Perez, Savannah, GA

My deepest sympathy to the family of Mr. de la Guardia.

- Tony Riley , Savannah, Georgia

I met Mario in first grade in 1939 at "De La Salle" school in Havana. We graduated from high school in 1948. We went to Georgia Tech to study chemical engineering. During our time at GA. Tech we were room-mates with Jorge Blanco, Arturo Comas and Lucas Clark. After leaving Cuba with our wives due to the communist regime in place in our country; I remember, together with Mario, looking for a job in the USA. Mario went to Savannah and I went to NYC. But our friendship continued despite the distance for the next sixty years. Mario was a kind and generous man, he helped many family members and friends during the years. We will miss him. As Jorge said, we have lost a BROTHER. To Hilda and the whole De La Guardia family our deepest sympathy. I know you are very proud of Mario; we are too. Sending our love, Kiko and Lilliam

- Felix J. Garcia, Key Biscayne, FL

A candle has been lit!

You are in our thoughts and prayers. I look fondly back to my time at Carson and feel that it was one big family. Mario was a big reason for this.

- Arthur & Belinda Gnann, Savannah, Georgia

A candle has been lit!

My condolences to the De La Guardia family from the Rolle Family

- Ralph Rolle, Bronx, NY

I am saddened to learn of the end of Mr. de la Guardia’s distinguished life. I hold his son Richard in my heart as a favorite former student—gentlemanly, thoughtful, and faithful, Now I understand where he learned these admirable qualities. May God grant you comfort in this sad time. Memory eternal.

- Sophia Caparisos, Savannah, GA

So sorry to hear this news. Mr. De La Guardia was a big influence on me when I was younger. He was a good man who tried to make the world a better place. Condolences to Hilda, Mario, Maria, and the rest of the family!

- Peter A Stacholy, LOS ANGELES, CA

Heartfelt condolences for your loss. Our deepest sympathies go out to your family. May God give you the peace that you seek in this difficult time.

- Tim and Cindy Taylor, Roswell, GA

Se le extrañara mucho a este gran señor de nuestra comunidad "Vuela alto Don Mario de la Guardia al encuentro con el señor " All the condolences from my family and all of the people of Rancho Alegre Cuban Restaurant

- Juan M Rodriguez, Savannah, GA

Hilda, Mario, Jr., Hildita, Richard, so sorry to know of your loss. With much history in our families, our family will also miss Mario's presence at future gatherings but will delight in the memories of times past. God's peace to each of you in recalling the wonderful contributions Mario has made to so much and so many. Jeanette

- Jeanette Bowers, Watkinsville, GA

Sending heartfelt prayers to you all during this time of mourning. May God bless you all and give you peace in knowing that Mario Sr. is in perfect peace with Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Mario Sr. has had a tremendous impact on my life and the lives of many during his time with us in the world. May he rest in peace.

- Shawn K. Tollerson, Homewood, IL

Hilda, Mario and Richard; very sorry to hear about Mr De La Guardia's passing. He was one of the nicest people I ever met. Many fond memories of you and coaching Richard in baseball.

- Randy Collins, Savannah, GA

Thinking about all of you. Sending love and hugs.

- Suzy Buelvas Casey, Prairie Grove, Arkansas

Richard, I was so very sorry to hear of your loss. Please know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers...Chuck

- Winter CHUCK, Pembroke, GA

Hilda Ma. e Hilda, Recordándolas con muchísimo cariño. Reciban mi más sentido pésame.

- Tita Sanabria y Anthony Klementzos, Alpharetta, GA

Lo siento muchísimo, Mario y Yo fuimos amigos desde 1939

- Augusto (Kiko) Villalon Sorzano, St. James City, Florida

Services under the direction of:

Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Islands Chapel