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John N. Cartwright

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John N. Cartwright Obituary

John Nelson Cartwright

94, passed away peacefully Thursday, July 10, 2014 in Indianapolis, IN. He was born in Elkton, KY on November 6, 1919 to Charles and Edna Cartwright. John graduated from Todd County High School in Elkton in 1938. He served his country during World War II from 1939 to 1945. He was assigned to the US Army Air Corps 27th Fighter Squadron as an airplane mechanic and worked on the most advanced fighter plane of its time - the P-38 Lightning. John served at multiple bases throughout Europe.

While in the Army working on airplanes, John developed a lifelong love of engines and how they worked. After his service, he enrolled at Georgia Tech University in Atlanta, GA and earned a degree in mechanical engineering. Upon graduating in 1949, John began work for Detroit Diesel Allison in Indianapolis. He was an outstanding engineer and oversaw work on many Allison engines for military aircraft. He was a key liaison between Allison, the US Naval Air Systems Command, and with aircraft manufacturers Grummond, Conair, Lockheed, McDonnell-Douglas, and Rockwell. John was also instrumental in the development of Allison helicopter engines, working closely with Boeing, Kaman Aerospace, Sikorsky, Bell, and Hughes.

John's inventive mind led to his designing parts for aircraft engines, and obtaining multiple patents for his some of his designs. In what may have been the pinnacle of his career, he served on a panel of mechanical and aviation experts evaluating the safety and durability of key engine components on the first Space Shuttle. John retired from Allison in 1984.

John loved classic cars, owning and restoring several. He and his wife were founding members of the Milestone Car Club and traveled the country participating in classic car shows. He loved to travel, take fishing trips with his buddies, and enjoyed nature. He had a passion for photography and took thousands of pictures in his lifetime. He also loved creating and fixing things in his workshop. More than anything, John loved spending time with his family and friends.

John was preceded in death by his loving wife of 65 years, Juanita; his parents; his brother, Charles Jr; sister, Bessie White; and son-in-law, Robert Binninger. He is survived by daughters, Dianne Binninger and Patricia (Mark) Brumback; and grandson, John Casselman.

Services for John will be held Saturday, July 26 at Trinity Episcopal Church, 3243 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis. Visitation is at 12 p.m., followed by a memorial at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Bloom at Eagle Creek, 5045 W. 52nd St., Indianapolis, IN 46254, where John lived and was lovingly cared for the last two years of his life. Arrangements: Indiana Funeral Care. Friends may sign his online guest book at http://www.indianafuneralcare.com.

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on July 20, 2014
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