Sunday, December 20, 2015
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Refreshments will be served.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Although he was taken from his loved ones much too soon, Steven Cartwright made an enormous impact in the lives of everyone he met. He was highly intelligent and a student of life with an insatiable thirst for learning new things. A devoted husband and father, Steve treasured these roles, and there was nothing that he cherished more than sharing countless enriching experiences with the ones he loved. Life was not without times of trial, but he was a man of great courage and strength who faced everything head on. Deeply loved, Steve leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever treasure.
It seems only fitting that Steve’s journey began during a time that was as vibrant as he was. It was the 1950s, or the Nifty Fifties as we often remember them, when James Dean dominated the big screen, blue jeans became part of our wardrobes, and Elvis Presley introduced us to the world of rock ’n roll. Amidst this exciting time was a time of great excitement in the lives of Richard and Audrey (Casselman) Cartwright as they were eagerly anticipating the birth of their new baby as the beauty of spring covered the city of Detroit, Michigan, it all its glory. The big day finally arrived on May 8th when they welcomed the baby boy they named Steven R. into their hearts and home. He was the third of four boys in his family and was raised in Detroit alongside his brothers, Randy, Brian, and Paul. Steve’s father was a self-employed advertising executive while his mother stayed home to raise their sons. Later on, his mother was an editor for the local newspaper in Novi.
In many ways, Steve was a young boy of his generation. He enjoyed playing sports around the house with his brothers and other neighborhood kids. Steve was a very dedicated sports fan who was loyal to the Boston Red Sox. He was also an avid fan of Carl Yastrzemski, often writing him letters that Carl answered back. Steve also had an extensive baseball card collection. He was more quiet and reserved, and he enjoyed reading as well. Steve’s high school years found him at Redford High School where he excelled in his studies.
After graduating from high school in 1975, Steve went on to attend the University of Michigan. He earned his BA in four years, but he also joined the Army ROTC and had his commission day on the same day as his college graduation. This meant that he was not able to walk at graduation. Steve served in the military for a total of three years with much of his time being spent in Germany. He rose to the rank of officer and 1st lieutenant. Steve always enjoyed his time in the service.
Eager to continue his education, Steve attended United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio, earning his Master of Divinity degree. He then spent four years pastoring with the UMC in Coleman and Ossineke. It was while in Coleman that Steve met the love of his life. Her name was Barb, and they were introduced through a Christian singles group by mail in 1987. Sparks flew right from the start, and they soon found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together, Steve and Barb were engaged that December 29th and married on July 23, 1988, at Bethel Park Free Methodist in Flint where she was from.
After enjoying a honeymoon in the Upper Peninsula, the newlyweds settled in Ossineke, located just to the South of Alpena where Steve pastored for two years. In 1990, they moved to Kalamazoo where Steve went back to school while also working part-time at Barnes and Noble and also at Western Michigan University while attending classes there as well. He did earn his master’s degree in history and then a Ph.D in medieval history in 2001. Also during this time, Steve and Barb were blessed with the birth of their daughter, Katie, in 1998. As a family they enjoyed camping with Barb’s family in Mackinaw as well as in Mears and Cadillac. They made some amazing memories on these trips as they all loved being outdoors. Steve and Katie were good at pushing each other’s buttons, yet they adored each other, too. When she was taking Latin, he taught himself the language so that he could help her. Actually, he knew at least seven languages, most of which were self-taught. To support his family, Steve worked as an acquisitions clerk at Waldo Library. He liked his job, especially when it came to ordering all the classroom and library books. He kept the old books and therefore had quite an extensive library at his home. Steve did enjoy his work, but his heart was truly in teaching.
Throughout his life, Steve was a man of many interests. He did a straw garden and composting, taking pictures along the way. Steve was into photography, too, with landscape and outdoor pictures being among his specialties. He was always the photographer at family, church, and work events. Steve loved cooking, primarily Indian with plenty of curry. He was the one who cooked every night, and he also took care of all the shopping, grilling, and baking his own bread. Steve fell in love with mochas beginning during his days at Barnes and Noble, and he also put lemon and fruit into his water. He was into music and had a ton of records across several genres of music. Steve was a cat lover, although they had no cats currently, but they do have a dog, Buffy. He wrote a few books and also did some editing, and he tried out for Jeopardy on two separate occasions. When it came to reading, Steve loved the Harry Potter books and also Lord of the Rings.
In December of 2012, Steve and his loved ones were given a tough pill to swallow when he was diagnosed with leukemia. Over the years that followed, he fought hard to overcome. Steve and Barb continued to enjoy being together whether they were taking walks, seeing movies, watching Jeopardy, or attending church.
All who knew Steven Cartwirght would agree that he was an extraordinary man to know and love. He was quiet, but he also had a humorous side, and he was also passionate about the people and things he loved. Steve viewed his family as his greatest treasure, and he was also very spiritual, too. Life will never be the same without him here, but he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will forever treasure.
Steven R. Cartwright, of Kalamazoo, died on December 17, 2015. Steve’s family includes his wife, Barb Cartwright; daughter, Katie Cartwright; mother, Audrey Cartwright; 3 brothers: Randy Cartwright (Susan Dara), Brian (Jean) Cartwright, and Paul Cartwright (Sherryl Bielak); and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. Steve was preceded in death by his father, Richard Cartwright. Visit with family and friends while sharing refreshments on Sunday from 4 – 7 p.m. at Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 375-2900. Services will be held Monday 11 a.m. at Second Reformed Church (2323 Stadium Dr.) followed by a luncheon in the church hall. Please visit Steve’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to the Second Reformed Church or Leukemia Foundation