William “Bill” David Cartwright

In November of 2007, I asked my dad to write down a biography for me - of his memories, his experiences and his life.  I also asked him to tell me the things he was most proud of and the things he found the most personal satisfaction and joy from.  I have fixed spelling errors and also added a bit of follow up information as well as links.  But for the most part, the following information are his words on his amazing life:

I decided to write down my memories of my life the other day. But as I thought about how to do this, I found that there were at least 3 sources for what I wanted to write.

  1. My actual memories
  2. Things I had been told, but do not really remember
  3. Things that I 'made up' based  on what I remember, and things that  were going on at the time, and what I was told

As I cannot truly seperate the 3 sources, the reader will just have to accept that what I write is what I remember now, right or wrong.

Also, I have to decide on the detail I will write about my parents and other family members. What I think I will do is write a page or so about my father and same for my mother. The rest of family will be mentioned as the related to my thought process.

First, my family members:


    David Frances Cartwright
    Bolivar, New York, 1901
    Died  February 15, 1979


    Hazel Mary Stearns Cartwright
    Cuba, New York, born 10/23/1906
    Died Sat, March 30, 1996


    Thelma Louise Cartwright Yates
    Boliver,New York  June 17, 1925
    Died April 23, 1983


    Vance Herman Cartwright
    Friendship, New York,7/3/1929
    Died July 11, 2004


    Milford Marvin Cartwright
    Friendship, New York, 11/1934


    Mildred Maxine Cartwright
    Friendship, New York, 11/1934


    William David Cartwright
    Ocala, Fla, 06/19/1937


    Donald Ray Cartwright
    Ocala,Fla, 10/23/1941

Getting to Florida

None of this is from memory. This is information that I have been told. My mother got tuberculosis was sent to a sanitarium in Ocala, Florida sometime around 1936 to 1938. This has to be the time span, because I was born in Ocala in 1937.

My father and other children moved to Ocala and rented a place there.  I understand that the house in New York burned down, so it was decided to move whole family to Florida.

My father bought to land in Green Cove Springs, and rented a house from the Geoghan family.

Mother was released around 1943.

Growing up

I grew up in Green Cove Springs, Fl. I was 4 years old. We lived in the country, so time was spent mostly doing chores and going too school. My mother as in the hospital in Ocala (tuberculosis) and my father worked at least 2 jobs.  So mostly it was Milford, Mildred, Donald and myself that were home.  My older sister, Thelma, was working and living in Green Cove Springs.  For years I did not know she was my sister. Thought she was a nice lady that my parents knew.  My older brother, Vance was not around much, then was in army for about 3 or 4 years. I don't remember the details or times.  I learned to read from Mildred,  Milford, my father and I spent a lot of my free time reading. As I got older, I began doing stuff on my on.  I think I was about 12 or 13 years old when we got electricity in the house.

We had horses and ponies, so I rode lot. There were plenty of chores to do, and I started catching alligators and hunting, which I did with a friend until I graduated from high school.

I taught myself to juggle 3 items (fan belts) in free time at my first job. I was interested in magic, did a lot of reading, and my 3rd grade teachers father showed me some simple stuff. I kept doing magic until today.  Mostly  slight of hand stuff, but some stage magic.


I started working at age 13, at a gas station, pumping gas and doing minor repairs. I worked 70 hrs a week for $18.75 a week all summer.  When school started, I got a job with to local 'twin' theaters in town.  I was the ticket taker, usher and sold refreshments. I was taught how to be a projectionist, and I filled in doing that about three days a week. I don't remember my salary.  The next summer, I got a job with Neuman Hardware, cleaning, sales, delivery, and helped my brother, Milford, with appliance sales and service.  I keep this job all through high school. The store became Neuman-Brown hardware. Ed Neuman and Homer Brown were owners. Homer's wife, Pauline was my geometry teacher in high school.  Millford eventually became, and still is, the owner.

The Summer of 1955 I went looking for a job in the cities that had Universities.  I got a job  in Jacksonville, as mail boy for Retail Credit Corp., a large private investigation company for life, auto and other insurance.  In September I started college at Jacksonville Jr College, which became Jacksonville University in 1956.  I majored in Mathematics, going to school and working at Retail Credit Corp. for 2 years. I became a credit investigator, and did a few other investigations.

In the summer of 1957, I enrolled in Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fl. and went to work for that office of Retail Credit. I continued to study math, but added Science as my minor, studying biology, zoology, physics, and pre-med. I also took education courses and earned a teaching certificate for math and science.  The first semester in 1958-1959 school year, I went to Ft Lauderdale, Fl as a teaching intern. It was a new school, and I was assigned all advanced math courses. My lead teacher as selected to head the state text book selection committee for math books. The school worked a deal with FSU, and I taught at the school for the full semester. I returned to FSU for second semester to finish my degree. As I had to quit Retail Credit, I took 3 jobs to finance my way through school.

  1. Was a reader for the school library, showing slides for humanities, and reading the material what was important.
  2. Worked as research assistant for the governors office.
  3. Was a short order cook in the mornings  for a 'greasy' spoon place.
  4. Helping local contractor, install intercom and related electronics, and any labor jobs he wanted done.

My first first real full time job was as a school teacher. I taught math and science at a private school, Howey Acadamy, Howy-in-the-Hills, Florida I was also the water front director, and taught water skiing, and water safety. I taught the summer of 1959 and the 1959-1960 school year.  Early in the summer of 1959, my brother Don got into enough trouble
in school that they did not want to let him back in.  So, Don came to live with me, and went to Howie Academy will I was teaching.

I did not think that teaching high school was something that I wanted for the  rest of my life, so I resigned, and went to the Bahama Islands, to Nassau. I Nassau I worked for Maury Lumber Co. a general merchandise company as advertising manager. Mostly I wrote newspaper ads, and directed merchandise display and window dressing for products.  I also meet and married my first wife, Joyce Victoria Harding, 9/7/60. I also received notice from the draft board that I could not stay and work in the Bahamas.

I returned to Florida State University as a teaching assistant, teaching math classes and working on my masters degree. With my wife and brother, we lived in an apartment in Tallahassee. I earned approx $85.00 a month from FSU, and made extra money tutoring. My parents also sent $40.00 a month to help with my brother.

My wife, Joyce, got pneumonia, and had to go to hospital. FSU lent me the money for this so I could finish out the semester. As I had to repay the money, I got job with RCA at Patrick Air Force base in 2/61. This was in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

I was hired as a Jr.  mathematician. My job was the utilization of telemetry and related  systems  for  the  tracking and  location of missiles. I learned the required knowledge easily, and got to work on all of tracking systems. (Radar, UDOP, and Azusa)

This is were I first got involved with computers. At first only analog, but they got a few simple digital computers, so I got a good introduction to basic computers. I started taking courses at Brevard Engineering College, where I was asked to become a part time instructor in math and computers.  I stayed with this until 8/64.

In December 1961, I was offered a job at Univac I went to work for Univac in 12/61 as an analyst. My job as the development of math  algorithms and computer programs for missile tracking. Univac sent me to several computer schools, and I decided to stay in the computer field. Co-published a paper on math for MARS (Mobile Atlantic Range Traking ships) Using matrix equations. Paper brought a lot of attention and promotions.

Near the end of 1962, Univac decided to move their operation to California. I was offered a job there, but did not think I wanted to go. I found a job with General Electric in Dec., 1962, working at Cape Canaveral Fla.

Worked as mathematician and programmer on the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. Performed  mathematical evaluation  of data, the design and implemented  ground based checkout systems. Became manager of downlink checkout development. (Receive and process data from spacecraft)

Things I am Proud of:

  • Was named acting manger of Cape software when manager was gone.
  • Became one of youngest workers ever become manager.
  • Wrote many technical papers on development to checkout.
  • Early work on floating doing math (real numbers) Was considered expert in field and wrote emulators for applications.
  • I took courses and taught at local colleges part-time.
  • At both GE and Rockwell I worked with company and local schools and set up internships programs, for summer and during school year. I averaged 5 interns a year in my groups after program got started.  (UNTIL 1999)
  • Provided many young people their first real work experience
  • Became a company "firefighter". Was sent anywhere I was needed to work on problems and setup new projects.  As a result, I was always ask to manage new areas, so had many positions in new areas when Space Program got going.
  • Managed Lunar Excursion Module checkout at Grumann in NY.
  • In Houston, worked on Medical products using computer.
  • “Down the hole" drilling operations
  • Identified and won several projects in Texas
  • Returned to GE Daytona to manage flight and other simulation groups.
  • Won a Navy computer ship control bid, and built working system.
  • Managed a Solar energy generation system. it was very successful
  • Work on new Cad/Cam software.
  • Moved to GE robotics and worked on all areas on applications
  • Became a expert on Personal Computer software and applications
  • Taught college and company courses in this area
  • Taught summer class at Air Force Academy (3 years)
  • Was faculty advisor for Computers at Embry Riddle in Daytona Beach.
  • Was assigned to almost every problem. Became GE representative on panel of all companies on Space Program.
  • When Grisom,White, and Chafee died on the pad, was assigned to be on investigating panel. Had Top secret and Presidential clearance.
  • I Met President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon Baines Johnson.
  • Went to work in GE Robotics December  1981- May, 1987
  • Was part of project design team (Bridgeport, Conn. and New York)
  • Co-patent on methods to move move robot arm in straight line.
  • Co-author on IEE paper on robot mathematics
  • Went to Japan to teach math methods there. (2/3 weeks)

Places I have lived:

6/1937 -1941  Ocala, Fla.
1941- 9/57      Green Cove Springs, Fla
9/57-6/58        Tallahasee, Fla.
6/58-9/58        Green Cove Springs, Fla
9/58-2/59        Tallahassee, Fla.
2/59-6/69        Tallahassee, Fla.
6/59-6/60        Howey-in-the-Hills. Fla.
6/60-9/60        Bahamas, Nassau, BWI
9/60-2/61        Tallahassee, Fla.
2/61-9/61        Cocoa Beach, Fla.
9/61-5/62        Eau Gallie, Fla.
5/62-8/64        Cocoa Beach, Fla.
8/64-5/67        Harbor Oaks. Fla.
5/67-6/68        Commack, New York. (Long Island, Suffolk Co.)
6/68-10/73      Houston, Texas (Clear Lake City)
10/73-12/73    Ormond Beach, Fla.
12/73-7/75      Ormond Beach, Fla.
7/75-9/75        Daytona Beach, Fla 32074
9/75-12/79      Daytona Beach, Fla 32019 (Port Orange)
12/79-3/82      Port Orange, Fla. 32019.
3/82-6/82       Charlottesville Va. 22901
6/82-7/84       Rochelle, Va. 22738
7/84-6/87       Sorrento, Fla. 32776
6/87-7/87       Waukesha, Wi. 53186
7/87-1/99       New Berlin, Wi. 53151
1/99- Present  Green Cove Springs, Fla 32043

Schools I Have Attended:

  • 9/43 - 6/55 Clay County High School, Green Cove Springs, Fla
  • 9/55 - 6/57 Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Fla
  • 9/57 - 6/59 Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla
  • 9/60 - 2/61 Florida State University, Tallahassee, Fla
  • 6/61 - 8/64 Brevard Engineering College
  • 1983          University of Va. (800 level)

My Children:

I have two daughters from my marriage to Joyce Victoria Harding:

  1. Tereza “Tina” Victoria Cartwright Lisicki - born March 27, 1962
    • Married to Paul Lisicki
  2. Mitzi Gay Cartwright Gee - born January 18, 1966
    • Married to Aaron Gee

I have four grandchildren:

Tina has two children:

  1. Brittany Jade Vanacore born July 9, 1986
  2. Alanna Nicole Vanacore born June 10, 1988

Mitzi has two children:

  1. Malcolm Cartwright Gee born September 18, 1999
  2. Ahnika Mae Gee born May 5, 2002

Eloise Cartwright:

In October 5, 1979 I married my second wife, Naomi Eloise Cubbage Cartwright  (born 11/16/1942)

Eloise had five children from her previous marriage - my step-children are:

  1. Debbie Jarnagin
  2. Matthew Jarnagin
  3. Cathy Jarnagin
  4. Lori Jarnagin Rankin
    • Married to Dan Rankin
    • Son - Clayton Rankin
    • Daughter - Audra Rankin
  5. Angela Jarnagin

I have many step-grandchildren and step-great grandchildren.

Resume Highlights:
(This is not a copy of his resume, but a conglomeration of several versions of different resumes from different years.  I combined information according to dates, so if there are repeated entries, it is because I haven’t had the chance to read through to make sure its all clear.)

May 11,1987-Dec,1999
        Milwaukee, Wi. 53204

  • Principal Software Engineer, report to Manager of Software Engineering.  Support all levels of section software for design, test and documentation.
  • Provide training for computers and languages.

December  1981- May, 1987
General Electric  Co.
Robotics and Vision Systems
Plymouth, Florida

  • Senior Software Engineer, report to Manager of Software Engineering. Technical manager of software projects in support of $19,000,000 department business plans.  Direct 3 to 6 software/electrical engineers. Responsible for design and implementation of software products required by business.  Provide in-house training for computers and software.
  • As Senior Software  Engineer - Worked on the development of new Robot Controller for articulated arms. Supported algorithm development and evaluation, systems implementation, and  total project development. I was software project leader for a  successful system using robots, vision and control computers  for daptive spot welding.
  • I  have supported all areas of robot to computer communication and special test development.
  • Assumed management of project 3 months behind schedule and overrun by $50,000. Project completed on schedule within cost, with 6 additional units, for  $2,400,000.
  • Designed and implemented GE\JAPAN communication software. Package available ahead of schedule, saving 6 man months ($30,000).
  • Project lead for development of robotic kinematic equations.  Received patent for work in motion control plus IEEE publication.
  • Developed symbolic algebra routine to solve homogeneous equations. Reduced development time from 4 man weeks to 1 man day.

General  Electric Company   Daytona Beach, Fla.

  • Manager, System Software. Reported to Manager of Engineering.  Responsible for the development of computer generated image simulators and micro-computer application for ship control.  Directed 25/40 programmers.  Also managed the computer maintenance contracts and CAD/CAM  development.
  • Reorganized software group, instituted guidelines and standards for software development. Resulting in software development savings of $50,000/year.
  • Established standards and directed development of  tools for firmware development for USAF project.  Reduced time per module from 5 to 1 week. Subsequently guest lecture for 3 years.
  • Established standard computer system for use with  products, and computer purchase guidelines. Reduced recode time by 20% and purchase cyle by $10,000/system.
  • Manager  of the software unit,  responsible  for the  development  of  computer  generated  image simulation for pilot and radar training,  micro-computer application for U.S. Navy ship control, and related software development. I also managed the   computer  maintenance  contracts  and  the CAD/CAM development for several years.  I served on  Division level councils for the  development of software standards and guidelines. I authored a paper on the use and control of firmware,  and was  a  guest  lecturer  for  simulation   short courses  offered  by the U.S.  Air Force at  the University of Dayton.

1970-1973 General Electric Company   Houston, Texas.

  • Manager, Advanced System Programming. Reported to Manager of Software Engineering. Directed 12 programmers and analysts.  Responsible to identify and win new business for software.
  • Developed specification for test language compiler for NASA. Won $5,000,000. Meet critical deadlines
    within budget.
  • Placed first in NASA for $2,000,000.  Work completed on schedule and within budget, resulting in follow on for $8,000,000.

6/1968  - 9/1973
General Electric Co.
Houston, Texas.

  • Initial assignment (6/68 to 12/69) was as Senior Programming     Analyst    to    support     the identification  and development of new areas  of business.  I was named manager of the unit  that was  formed  based on this work.  Major area  of work  was in computer related test and  checkout of  space craft systems.  All areas of  software development  was  required,  including  compiler development  and special applications of  micro-computers for built in checkout.

12/62 - 6/68
General Electric Company

  • Worked at Cape Canaveral,  Fla.,  Daytona Beach, Fla and Bethpage, New York on assignments  related to the development of the Apollo Program.  Performed  mathematical evaluation  of data,   design  and  implemented  ground   based checkout systems.  I was assigned manager of the software  facility located at the Grumann  plant in 5/67.

RCA, Patrick Air Force Base

  • Jr.  Mathematician  :  Utilization of telemetery and   related  systems  for  the  tracking   and location of missles.

Univac, Cocoa Beach, Fla.

  • Analyst:  Development  of math  algorithms  and computer programs for missile tracking.



  • Patent for robot motion control, 1985.
  • Appointed to division council for development of software standards.
  • Recieved five management awards.


    • Management development course.
    • Kepner Tregoe Management course.
    • Finance course.
  • GE instructor for:
    • C language,8086 assembly language,Fortran,Pascal
    • Basic and software engineering.