Ms Gill’s Story: “I am living this moment by the Grace of God”
The statement was made by one of the most supportive members of the Aging and Intergenerational Resources program, Christine Cartwright. Ms. Cartwright was born May 20, 1913, in Huffsmith, Texas, the third child of Charlie and Vicey Cartwright.
Ms. Cartwright’s family moved to Houston in 1928, in order to have more opportunities for the family. She attended Gregory Elementary School. During the time Ms. Cartwright attended Gregory Elementary School, all grade levels were in one class, thereby allowing Ms. Cartwright to learn upper level course material. In 1932, she graduated from Booker T. Washington High School and went straight to work. She worked for a few years as a cook, until World War II in 1941 when soldiers were needed. The Army gave Ms. Cartwright an opportunity to receive a free education if she enlisted in the army. She enlisted and learned how to drive a MD38 (supply truck). In 1945, she went to Madam CJ Walker Beauty College to become a license Cosmetologist. September 1946 she started college at Houston College for Negroes (now Jack Yates High School). The next year Texas Southern University was founded.
The Fairchild building was the first building constructed at Texas Southern University. Ms. Cartwright remembers all the University’s activities (school, lunch, gym, etc…) which occurred in one building, the Fairchild Building. She graduated from TSU in 1949 with a major in Business Administration and a minor in English. She was in the first graduating class of Texas Southern University. On November 18, 1951, Ms. Cartwright married Wellington Gill in Houston, Texas. While in Austin, she briefly attended Huston- Tillotson College pursuing a master’s degree in education. She decided that teaching was her passion and taught at Highland Heights Elementary (Houston Independent School District) for 27 years. Ms Gill was a dedicated volunteer at the Michael E.
DeBakey VA Medical Center and was a dedicated member of her church and community. In January 2008, at the age of 94, Ms. Gill passed away quietly in her home.
Amber Long, TSU Student
Brian Moses, ExxonMobil Community Summer Intern