Gloria Marie <I>Lacefield</I> Cartwright

Gloria Marie Lacefield Cartwright

Little Rock, Pulaski County, Arkansas, USA
Death 1 Dec 1974 (aged 49)
Upperville, Fauquier County, Virginia, USA
Burial Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA
Plot Section 5 Site 140
Memorial ID 13567711 · View Source
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Gloria Marie Lacefield Cartwright Was A Great Lady!
By: Phyllis Cartwright Diehl

She was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, September 1, 1925, to Decatur Bishop Lacefield and Ethel Finley. As the youngest child in the family, she was able to tag along with her eldest sister Gwendolyn, and brother Decatur, who soon earned the nickname Brother. Growing up in the south, the Lacefield children attended Gibbs Elementary School and Dunbar High School, walking many miles past the then segregated Little Rock City Schools.
At a very early age, she met and married Roscoe "Rock" Cartwright, a young second lieutenant in the United States Army. As a 17-year-old bride, the school system didn't want her to continue attending public school with other young ladies her age. She fought their efforts to make her quit and won, going on to obtain her high school diploma and graduating with her class that spring. During those early years, she and her husband faced many trials and tribulations in what was then the segregated army. Having grown up in the south, she was well prepared to deal with the many indignities the two of them would encounter in the early years of their travels to various new assignments.
During the next eight years and many, many moves their four children, Roscoe Jr., Stanley, Phyllis and Cynthia were born. As a career officer's wife, she spent a lifetime packing and unpacking every three years, or so, as her household goods were shipped from city to city around the world. As she followed her soldier to each new assignment, there were many nights, weeks, months, and even years, that she had to do all the loving, nurturing, and disciplining, as both mother and father to her four children, while he was off on a temporary tour of duty, foreign conflict, or war. She also put aside any dreams to pursue a college degree or pursue any career aspirations she may have had.
Although home is always where your hat is, she finally was able to create a home of her own after a transfer to the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area. By that time her three elder children had already gone off to college or homes of their own. A few years after being transferred to the D.C. area, she looked up one day and was home alone. Just barely in her forties, she had become an empty nester. Her last two children were in college and her husband was in Vietnam. What does a young, caring, nurturing woman do with all that extra time on her hands? Write to her children, visit her family, spend countless hours molding the minds of preschool-aged children, and wait. Wait for that special man. Hope and pray that he come home safely from the war.
It takes a very special woman to be able to support her man in a relationship that keeps them apart during holidays and important milestones in their lives, such as the birth of their sons, childhood illnesses, and those important adolescent years. But Gloria Lacefield Cartwright was a trooper and a survivor. She was also the bond that kept the family morally strong and pushed her husband on to greater rewards. She devoted her life to her husband, her children, and her extended family. She was the gracious hostess at cocktail parties or dinners that may have been planned with just a moment’s notice after a phone call from her husband. She always opened her home (wherever that may be) to friends, family, and visitors alike, which sometimes included top brass or visiting dignitaries like the Honorable Barbara Jordan, Representative (D TX).
In their years of traveling around the world, Gloria and Rock touched the lives of many people with whom they came in contact. The friends, of all ages, they developed over the years became a part of their extended family. This bond created a world-wide support network that others were able to tap into at any time. That network was also extended to the friends of their children and it was these friends who fondly bestowed the two of them with the nicknames the "General" and the "Duchess."
Gloria tried, as her Father had, to keep the Lacefield family history alive and visited her family whenever possible between moves. After over thirty years of packing and unpacking Gloria and her husband, Rock, finally retired from the military and settled once again in their Maryland home. Not to retire from life, but to start new careers.
They say behind every great man stands a great woman. Gloria Cartwright was one of those great women. She was there supporting each step her husband took, each assignment he accepted, each promotion he received. She was there, standing beside him each time a new insignia was pinned on his shoulders. She was there when he received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees. She was there to encourage and support him as he went off to World War II, the Korean Conflict, and Vietnam. She was there when he was honored for one of his greatest accomplishments--as she pinned those silver stars on his epaulets--becoming the second African-American to receive the distinction of Brigadier General in the Unites States Army. She was sitting in a seat of honor as she witnessed the Change of Command Ceremony and attended his Retirement Ceremony. But she was also there beside him when they took that last breath together. That cold, foggy, overcast day in December as they were rushing home to Maryland after a week of giving thanks and breaking bread with family and friends during the Thanksgiving holidays. The day TWA Flight 514 crashed into the isolated mountain site atop the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. That day fate took them both away. That tragic Sunday in December.......she was only forty-nine. Gloria Marie Lacefield Cartwright was truly a great lady! She was a kind and gentle lady, a role model, a mentor, and friend to so many women--officer's wives, friends, neighbors, aunts, nieces, cousins, sister, mother, and her daughters. She was my Mother.

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  • Created by: Dennis Alan Deel
  • Added: 8 Mar 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 13567711
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Gloria Marie Lacefield Cartwright (1 Sep 1925–1 Dec 1974), Find a Grave Memorial no. 13567711, citing Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Dennis Alan Deel (contributor 46590424) .