John Walter Cartwright Jr.
1947 - 2021
John Walter Cartwright, Jr.
February 21, 1947 - April 6, 2021
Chapel Hill, North Carolina -
John Cartwright died Tuesday, April 6, at age 74 after a 12-year battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia. He was born in Elizabeth City, NC to John Walter Cartwright (Jack) and Edna Crawley Cartwright. He grew up in Raleigh and Durham, graduating from high school in Clinton, NC. He graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1970 with a degree in accounting, becoming a licensed CPA. He worked at the NC Department of Transportation for 30 years, culminating in his leadership over a seven year period in the purchase, installation, and staff training state-wide of a new digital accounting system.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Susan Pursley Cartwright, daughter Cara Henning, husband Reyco and their two children, and son John III (Jay), wife Lara of the Chapel Hill-Hillsborough area. He is also survived by his brother Thomas Cartwright, wife Mary and their children and grandchildren of Atlanta and Augusta, Georgia.
In all places he socialized, worked, and traveled, John sought a positive experience with everyone he met. A natural interviewer, at shared tables on cruise ships, on the beach, or with fellow travelers, he became an improvised host, encouraging all to share their background, join in jokes, and otherwise feel safe and comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings. Likewise, his children recall sitting bleary-eyed at the breakfast table dreading the coming school day and hearing, from upstairs, their father's boisterous singing as he walked to join them, shining with levity to counter the weariness of day-to-day drudgery for himself and his loved ones. As an ambassador of joy, John will be greatly missed, but his years of jokes, songs, and stories remain treasured memories among his family and friends, continuing his legacy of mirth for the ages.
A small family gathering will be held in his memory, with a celebration of life for friends and family to be scheduled at a later date. Condolences may be sent via his memorial web page at

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Published by The News & Observer on Apr. 13, 2021.
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4 Entries
Doug and I were deeply saddened to learn of John's passing and we send our sincerest condolences to Susan, Cara, Jay and their families. We have nothing but fond memories of sharing play dates with the children and John's attention to them. Please know his kindness lives on in many memories.
Marilyn and Doug Bensinger
April 23, 2021
What an amazing gentleman. I didn't know John as well as I would have liked to, but the interaction we had was wonderful. John knew how to make you feel like you had been a friend for years.
Wayne Davenport
April 19, 2021
I have very cherished memories of John during our high school years. He was a great guy and a very good friend. I am so saddened to hear of his passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this sad time.
Marian Daly Kidd
April 13, 2021
My heart is broken to hear of John's Heavenly journey. We went to school many years together and graduated from CHS in 1965. I considered John to be one of my best friends.

My thoughts and prayers are with,his family. May God be with them during their time of sadness.
Elyse Honeycutt Craver
April 12, 2021
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