John Cartwright

Obituary
26 entries
  • "I met John thru his son, Rex, at the old shoe shop in..."
    - Jack Fitch
  • "The family has my sympathy and will remain in my prayers."
    - Tracy Jones
  • "Sending my sympathy and GOD bless the family"
    - peggy talley
  • "Condolences to your families on the loss of your sweet DAD!"
    - Stacey Strozier-Herring
  • "Rex, Keith and families, Y'all are in our prayers. Our..."
    - Kam & Vickie Hutchins
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John Rexford Cartwright, age 74, of Conroe, Texas, died on October 1, 2015. John was born on March 11, 1941, in Conroe, Texas, to Rexford Harry Cartwright and Maurine Virginia Beckham Cartwright, both of whom preceded him in death. John was fondly known to his family and friends as "Papa John."

John was raised in the family home which his father built at the intersection of Cartwright Road (now Loop 336) and the Willis Highway (now U.S. Highway 75). He spent lots of time with friends Franchot Reneau, Bumps Baylor and others, swimming and fishing in the Rice family's pond, which is now the parking lot of Woodcreek Shopping Center (previously North Hills Shopping Center). John was a lifelong resident of Conroe, and was raised in First Baptist Church of Conroe, but he later joined First United Methodist Church of Conroe with his wife, Lynn.

John attended Sam Houston Elementary School and Travis Junior High School, playing baseball and football in grade school and junior high school. He often knocked the ball out of the park, joking that he was so slow that if he didn't hit the ball out of the park, he would be thrown out at first base every time. John was also involved in Boy Scouts in the 1940s and 1950s at the newly formed Camp Strake. John recounted scouting trips at Camp Strake, as wells as scouting (and a few unauthorized) trips on the Grogan-Cochran Lumber Company lands, now land included as part of The Woodlands, which John frequently described as nothing more than a swamp full of palmetto and alligators. Following in the footsteps of his father and mother, who were graduates of Conroe High School in 1922 and 1924, respectively, John graduated from Conroe High School in 1959.

After graduation from Conroe High School in 1959, John attended Baylor University for one year. He then transferred to Sam Houston State University in the fall of 1960. At Sam Houston State University, John shared an apartment with fellow Conroe High School classmates, Kenneth "Joe" Guinn and Louis Anderson. In the fall of 1960, another Conroe High School classmate, JoAnn Steakley, arranged a blind date for her roommate, Lynn Chatfield, to meet John. John and Lynn fell in love, and eloped in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on January 6, 1961. Lynn was the love of his life, and they remained married for fifty-three (53) years, until Lynn's death on October 6, 2014. John and Lynn had two (2) sons, John Rexford Cartwright, Jr. and Keith Charles Cartwright. Lynn, Rex and Keith, of course, were the main focus of John's life, along with his parents, Rex and Maurine Cartwright, who John and Lynn lovingly cared for in their elder years.

John began his career in the family business, Conroe Shoe Shop, located in downtown Conroe next to Carter's Drug Store. John worked there for many years, and later owned several businesses, including Cartwright's Western Wear and Wagon Wheel Package Store, which were both located on the family property at the intersection of Cartwright Road and Highway 75 North.

About 1980, John sold Wagon Wheel Package Store to Cobweb Liquors, a group of investors from Houston. John then purchased John Arnold's Exxon, located at the intersection of South Main Street and Avenue G, which John renamed Cartwright's Exxon. Later, John went back to work with his father, Rex H. Cartwright, in the family business, Conroe Shoe Shop. Sons, Rex and Keith, and a host of their friends worked at the Conroe Shoe Shop and Cartwright's Exxon during the 1970s and 1980s (and well beyond). John's son, Rex, chose to carry on the family business and make the Conroe Shoe Shop his own, while son, Keith, chose to pursue a career as an attorney, practicing in the field of oil, gas and mineral law in Houston for many years.

After the death of John's father in 1985, John and his son, Rex, moved the Conroe Shoe Shop to its current location, on the family property, and expanded the "shoe shop" to include Cartwright's Western Wear. In 1988, the shoe shop and western wear store burned to the ground. John and Rex dusted themselves off after the fire, moved the business to temporary quarters down the street, and rebuilt the shoe shop and western wear store in its present location, reopening in early 1990. John continued to work at the shoe shop for many years after rebuilding, but he was semiretired in recent years, mostly just visiting with longtime customers and friends, talking about old times and the aches and pains of old age, while managing to brag a little bit about his children and grandchildren. John's wife, Lynn Cartwright, died on October 6, 2014, and John was truly lost without her, a kind, loving, caring friend and partner to him for over fifty-three (53) years.

John is preceded in death by his parents, Rexford Harry Cartwright and Maurine Virginia Beckham Cartwright, his loving wife of fifty-three (53) years, Lynn Chatfield Cartwright, and his sister, Virginia Ann Cartwright Lavender. John is survived by his sons, J. Rex Cartwright, Jr. and wife, Shelly Cartwright, and Keith C. Cartwright, his grandchildren, Ethan Cartwright, Ashton Cartwright and Cullen Cartwright, brother-in-law, Jeff Blankenship, and lifelong friends, Franchot Reneau and Bumps Baylor, as well as numerous other friends and relatives.

Following cremation, a graveside memorial service will be held on October 12, 2015, at 11:00 a.m., at Oakwood Cemetery, located at the intersection of Highway 105 East and Tenth Street, in Conroe, with Cashner Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. After the graveside service, the family will receive visitors and serve lunch at John's home at 1101 Irish Drive, Conroe, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to your favorite local pet charity, as John, like Lynn, loved all animals, large and small. The family wishes to express its sincere thanks to our dear friends the Tupas and Anna and Greg Reising for their long friendship and many kindesses shown to John and Lynn over the years. You are invited to view our webpage and leave written tributes to the family at cashnerconroe.com


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Published on yourconroenews.com from Oct. 6 to Oct. 22, 2015
Arrangements under the direction of:
Cashner Funeral Home
801 Teas Road | Conroe, TX 77303 | (936) 756-2126
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