Some people are born with charisma – others learn it. Eddie Cartwright seems to belong in the former grouping, and he has risen through challenges throughout his life to come to a place of …
Some people are born with charisma – others learn it. Eddie Cartwright seems to belong in the former grouping, and he has risen through challenges throughout his life to come to a place of happiness and comfort at 82 years of age.
Living all his years in Cleveland and Bradley County, attending school here and even marrying his childhood sweetheart, the area seems to be part of Cartwright’s very being.
Basketball was Cartwright’s sport at Bradley Central High School, as he received a scholarship for Tennessee Wesleyan College to play another two years in college. He met his wife, Milteen, when the two were in eighth grade at Arnold School, and married her in college between his sophomore and junior years.
Cartwright was born a descendant of Scottish ancestors in 1936, and has worked in various jobs throughout his life. He said his longest-running position was serving as GM and vice president of the Chalet. He later started a career in politics and was appointed director of public works in 1966. Then, in 1974, he successfully ran for commissioner of public works, and served two terms. In 1982, he successfully ran for county executive, which is now known as county mayor, serving for four years.
Upon completing his time as county executive, Cartwright began focusing on a housing company he had been running for some time – Cartwright Properties –which he still owns to this day.
“My wife and I have still have some rental properties we look after, but life’s been good for the Cartwrights. Cleveland’s a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire,” he said.
A man with numerous interests, he serves on the utility board at Cleveland Utilities, on the board at Life Bridges and on the selection committee for the Old Timer’s Hall of Fame.
Eddie and Milteen have two children: Tim, a chemical engineer in Germantown, and Jill, a teacher at Ocoee Middle School; the couple also have a “whole bunch of grandkids.”
“We have always promoted education in our family,” he said. “All four of us, meaning Tim, Jill, Milteen and I, have college degrees, and my two kids even have master’s degrees, so we really value a good education.”
The couple recently sold their home to buy a condo and now live in Oak Springs “enjoying the good life.” Before retirement, Cartwright would often play four rounds of golf a week, but had to give up the sport following the onset of arthritis; however, this didn't affect his fishing talents, as he can often be found with a rod and reel in his hands. In fact, a group of 13 men including Cartwright recently returned from a fishing trip to Canada, and he plans to head to Apalachicola, Florida, for another trip in October. He is also an active member of Wesley United Methodist Church as well as being one of its few surviving charter members.
When looking at 2018, as a known Republican, Cartwright said he likes feeling the U.S. is slowly improving after the 2016 election.
“We are taking our country back from a direction I was opposed to going in,” he said. “I think the general direction we are going is good. The thing I dislike is getting old, and the health issues that come with that, but overall, I don’t have much to complain about.”
Making a contribution to his community is important to him, whether it be through board meetings or from substituting at all local schools, as he used to do.
Cartwright is very active in local politics, and come November, he said he will be pulling for "the conservative cause" across the country on all levels. He said he has a gut feeling America has decided to go back to some values it lost over the past few years.
“I love my city and county and I want good people in office. I think we recently elected a great mayor for city and some council members. We’ve got a great county mayor, and a great candidate for governor and Senate, although I am sad to hear of my good friend Tom Rowland retiring,” he said.
Every year, Cartwright’s graduating Bradley class hosts a reunion, with Cartwright serving as MC most years. He asserts things have changed as far as school offerings, because when he attended Bradley, it was a more unified time for the community with no inter-school feuds taking place; however, the three high schools allow for more students to be involved in extracurricular activities. According to Cartwright, back in the day, you either made the team or you didn’t, as competition was much stiffer due to the larger student body population.
As a tidbit of advice for the younger generation, he said, “Listen to your elders, because they didn’t get where they are by chance. They learned along the way, have experience and should be respected. Do the things expected of you as far as your spiritual life, education and personal life. There’s so many things in Cleveland and Bradley County that other places don’t have. You don’t see wild riots taking place in our streets like some of these other cities. It’s really a good place to live.”
When not attending meetings, campaigning or fishing, Cartwright can be found at Old Fort Restaurant sitting with a group of fellow gentlemen known as The Liar’s Club, but their's is a tale for another day!
Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE
Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE
We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.
If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.
Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE