Cartwright was born on Sept. 28, 1920 in Robstown, where he grew up farming.
He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II.
Cartwright later became a professional fishing guide and enjoyed hunting as well.
Cartwright recalled once that he became a fishing guide when the owner of a Port Aransas supply house, Aubrey Nelson, told him, “You like to fish so much you might as well come on over and run one of my boats.”
That was in 1951. In 1953, he married Port Aransas schoolteacher Nancy Welch, and didn’t move away until he retired.
In 1955 he guided Oklahoman Joe Bailey to the championship of the 20th annual Tarpon Rodeo by putting him onto two tarpon and guiding them to the boat on 12-pound-test line.
In 1955 there were two tournaments, the Deep Sea Roundup and the Tarpon Rodeo in the fall.
It’s also the year Cartwright amassed 2,088 points in guiding the winner of the Deep Sea Roundup in July, making him the champion guide of that venerable tournament.
Another tarpon wasn’t even caught during the Deep Sea Roundup until another Oklahoman landed it during the 1966 tourney.
His guide? DeWitt Cartwright.
He was inducted into the Port Aransas Boatmen, Inc., Hall of Fame in 2004.
He was preceded in death by his wife.
Cartwright is survived by his three children; Mary Ellen (Jackie) Smithey of Aransas Pass, Jeff Cartwright of Port Aransas, and Greg (Debi) Cartwright of San Antonio; and three grandchildren; Jacqueline Smithey of Aransas Pass, Kelsey Cartwright of Port Aransas and Austin Cartwright of San Antonio.
Cartwright will be buried with military honors in Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, today, Thursday, April 8.