Joe (Bruce)
Joe (Bruce) Cartwright (49) of Hermosa Beach passed away peacefully at home on December 20th surrounded by loving family and friends. He is survived by his beloved wife Kathy, his loving sons Lucas and Samuel and his devoted dog Lucky. He is also survived by sisters Jane (Bill) Sellwood, Lisa and Kristin. He leaves nieces and nephews Joe, Tom, Emily, Ben, Sasha, Natalie, Noelle, Sarah, Dana, Aubrey, his parents-in-law Fernando and Rita Nunez, many brothers and sisters-in-law, Uncle Bob, Aunt Aurla, cousins Cindy and Rob and step-mother Sharla. He also leaves countless treasured friends in California, North Dakota, Minnesota and elsewhere. He is preceded in death by his parents Jack and Bev Cartwright, sister Kim Greenwald, grandparents and brother-in-law Jonathan Nunez. Joe spent his early years in North Dakota and Minnesotta, graduating from the University of North Dakota in 1975. He began his professional career at WDAY-TV in Fargo, North Dakota. Joe then moved to California in 1980 and worked in sales for KHJ/KCAL for 19 years. He was most recently Vice President/General Sales Manager at Adlink where he will be truly missed by all who worked with him. All who knew Joe knew how he treasured his wife and sons. He was an exceptional father and his loss will be felt forever. Joe touched everyone he met in ways no one will forget. Joe was the eternal optimist. He was such a kind, generous, energetic, smart and caring man. He faced his most recent illness with courage and dignity. In life and in death, Joe was an inspiration to all who knew or met him. He will be greatly missed. The family wishes to thank all who have helped in so many ways in these last most difficult days. The love shown will aid the family as they grieve the loss of Joe in the days to come. Visitation will be held on Thursday, December 26th from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the White and Day Colonial Mortuary, 901 Torrance Blvd., Redondo Beach, CA 90277, (310) 379-2446. The funeral service will take place Friday, December 27th at 10:30 am at Rolling Hills Covenant Church, 2222 Palos Verdes Drive North, Rolling Hills Estates, CA. In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials may be given in Joe's name to the University of North Dakota Foundation, PO Box 8157, Grand Forks, ND 58202.

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

View the Timeline


  1. Bruce! What happened? I was going to drop in on you in LA this Spring. Jane called me last night. You were in my dreams. When I look at your picture I feel the happy thunder you had for life. Thank you Joe. I wish you a wonderful journey. Kathy, I remember stopping by when Lucas was just a few weeks old. Bruce was so proud, so happy. I talked with him on the phone after Sam was born. He was so happy at becoming a father again. I am so sorry for your loss, Bruce was an extraordinary man.

  2. I have known Joe for nearly 14 years, first meeting him as a young sprig looking to break into the L.A/ TV sales business back in 1989. Joe was the Local Sales Manager for KCAL television at the time, and was one of only a few managers who agreed to meet with an aggressive yet still fairly green salesperson from a tiny little neighboring market (Palm Springs). Joe gave me more than an hour and a half of his time, and in that time – we learned a lot about one another. I loved how he took a call from Kathy in the middle of our interview and felt not the least bit embarrassed to get mushy with her in front of me and to tell me just exactly how amazing she was. Joe saw something in me that I wished others would have seen at the time – great potential. Joe was helpful, caring and genuine in his interest to help me find work in the market. It was because of his insistence that I was granted an interview with his Co-LSM, John Smart, and then the station\’s GSM. I never did get that job, but I have been and will be eternally grateful to Joe for the experience, the guidance and the opportunity he provided. Since that time, we have continued to keep in touch. He\’s always been anxious to know how and what I\’m doing. When I made Vice President of Sales at Univision, he was so pleased for me! I will forever miss Joe and his zest for life! His bow ties, his white sport socks, his wonderful smile and his beautiful Christmas cards . . . I feel so incredibly fortunate to have known Joe for as many years as I did. He\’s one of those kinda guys who stays with you a lifetime! Joe gave me one of the greatest gifts in life – confidence in myself and in my ability to do whatever it was I sert my mind to. Thank you, Joe, for allowing me to share in this wonderful gift of you! Hope you eat lot of sushi in heaven! 🙂

  3. To Joe\’s Family, I went to college with Joe during the “70\’s. He was the brightest star in college. We all loved him, and we all wished we were his girlfriend…except..Joe just loved everyone, and he couldn\’t be tied down..he had too much to do! I\’ve thought about Joe often during my life, and wasn\’t surprised to learn that he was still the brightest star. You\’re the best Joe! Jan Schulte

  4. Kathy and family, I just learned yesterday of Joe\’s death from a mutual friend of Joe and I in Minnesota. I lived in the same dorm with Joe in mid-70s at UND. I was playing football my first year there, and I will never forget the times that Joe took me aside privately to give me encouragement and advice while I was going through some difficult transitions. I always looked up to Joe, and always will. Even 20 years later I called Joe as I was passing through LA on a business trip, and Joe took the time to meet me at my hotel and invite me into your home, just a few months after your first son\’s birth. He seemed so happy and content. My thoughts are with you and your family. Fred Slone Anchorage, Alaska

  5. We lived a block from Joe and we saw him nearly every AM as he drove his black convertible out the alley behind our house. With his blonded hair, his white sox and his wonderful wife and boys, we will miss him. After we retired to Whitefish, we loved his Xmas cards.

  6. Kathy and kids , I had the great privledge of meeting Joe in college, and experiencing many great times together . He was always there with wit and humor to pull us through the day. There are so many stories I can\’t begin to tell you. He was a great friend and I miss his wonderful style. I will pass the word to all our college friends and rememember only the good die young. What a guy !

  7. i had the pleasure of meeting Joe at u.n.d. and although i havent see him in years i\’ll never forget what a great guy he was. Joe was a very positive and happy person,he had so much energy and exuded optimism…my prayers are with Joes wife and boys and remember some day we\’ll see each other in heaven and there we\’ll have the pleasure of seeing him again…miss you Joe, “an old friend” john jovanelli

  8. I remember Bruce as such a little boy, boss of his two sisters, and the delight of his grandparents. I also remember him speaking so beautifully at Kim\’s memorial service. As a cousin, I will always remember him, and I wish I could get to know his family. Mom and boys are both in our prayers.

  9. Dear Kathy and family, I have been meaning to write to you for some time;I heard about Joe’s death at the end of the year last year. I have finally located this site and am grateful to have this opportunity to let you know how sad I was to hear about your loss. I knew Joe at UND; we lived in the same wing at McVey Hall. He was a great friend and I always wondered where he lived and about his life. We played many tricks on each other when either of us was out of our room. We talked about life and love frequently throughout the year. He was like a brother to me. I remember that he was the first person I met as a freshman, 1974, and thought he was so worldly. He was wearing jean cut off shorts and no shirt – shoes with quite the wedge. Hair cut short and sticking straight up; big smile. He was fun and sweet and smart. I am sure that your life was good with him and am so sorry that he is no longer in the world. We did not stay in touch and I am sorry for that. He is always a part of my fondest memories of my time at UND. I hope that your family has been able to heal some in the last three years. God bless you, Tracy Johnk

  10. Kathy, I just read Joe\’s obituary in the LA times and wanted to tell you how sad and sorry I am. Joe was a patron of my store, Pickett Fences. Every time he walked through the door, he greeted everyone with such a wonderful upbeat energy and then pulled his family pictures out. I don\’t think I ever saw him that I didn\’t look at his pictures or hear a story about his family. He had such an intense love of his family. It was beautiful to see. You were blessed to have him in your life. Please accept my condolences. Joane Pickett at Pickett Fences

  11. To Joe\’s family, I\’m so, so sorry to hear of his passing. My deepest sympathy to you. He will be greatly missed.

  12. We wish you strength and faith in this most difficult time. Our family grieves with you and is so sorry for your loss. With love, The Yourmans (Kevin, Judi, Sam, Max and Bryan)

  13. Dearest Kathy: It is so hard to believe Joe is no longer with us. He touched me deeply from the moment I had the privledge of meeting him in couple\’s therapy, and of course, through you and what you shared about him in group. I cannot imagine what you and the boys must be going through during this very sad time. My heart breaks to know that the boys will not have him in their lives–but I know they will continue to love and cherish him through you and through the memories you all made together. Not only was Joe a warm and wonderful friend, he was also a great teacher, probably without ever even knowing it. He taught so many of us in group through his words and his actions. He will be forever missed, but will always be in our hearts. I know he will always be watching over you and the boys and I have no doubt his love will guide you as you continue to raise the kids. You are an awesome woman and I remain in awe of who you are and all that you stand for. All my love and friendship. Sandy Weinstock

  14. I just read about Joe\’s passing in the Grand Forks Herald. I met Joe thru David Plakos. I haven\’t seen Joe in over 20 years but remember him as such a sweet, funny, charismatic, talented and gorgeous guy. I also remember how much he always loved you Kathy. You were a great team. I\’m so sorry and will be thinking of Joe and everyone so much. If possible, could David email me please. In Fondest Memory, Kay Buness Costello

  15. So sorry to hear about Joe. He and I were high school friends and hung out together. A fond memory I have of Joe is when we would get the 8mm movie camera out and throw the football back and forth seeing who could get the best “action” shot. Joe is a great friend and even though it has been a few years since I have talked to him, I thought of him often. He had a personality that you just can\’t forget. To Joe…thanks for being a good friend and I will miss you. To his family….I am sorry for the grief you must be going through and I hope that grief turns to fond memories quickly. My family and I will keep you in our prayers.

  16. Dear Kathy, Lucas and Sammy, We are keeping you and Joe in our thoughts and prayers. Kalle, Joni and the girls

  17. Dear Kathy, Carol and I were shocked and deeply saddened this Christmas morning to find out about Bruce\’s passing. Carol discovered it in the Minneapolis Star Tribune obituaries. I tried calling Bruce approximately Dec. 1 to invite him to our annual hispanic scholarship fundraiser. In retrospect I thought it was odd that his secretary had an extended absence message, and also that Bruce did not call back. He was so good at returning calls and staying in touch. Bruce was a very special person to me, I thouht it to be very fortuitous that we re-engaged in our friendship from high school here in Southern California. I observed with great admiration his love for you, Lucas and Sam. He was full of energy, laughter and was always the eternal optimist. It was fun to see Bruce at your house last 4th of July, he appeared to be in such good health and spirits. If he was as sick as I think he was, he certainly didnt show it. And his departing hug, although wonderful at the time, brings a more special feeling to me now. I was very blessed to know Bruce not once but twice in life. I know I am a better person having known Bruce. I will remember him forever. Unfortunately Carol and I are in Minneapolis and will not be able to attend the visitation or funeral. I will be sending a donation in Bruce\’s name to the University of North Dakota. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. I will be here for you, Lucas and Sam, dont hesitate to call. I will be in touch.

  18. My deepest sympathy to Joe\’s family and friends. I have many wonderful memories of Joe (In Velva, we all knew him as Bruce first because that is what his grandmother, Mrs. Welo called him). All of the Velva kids looked forward to the annual summer visits of Bruce, Jane, and Kim; fun and beautiful people all. He will truly be missed.

  19. Kathy, Sam & Luc, Please accept our condolences, your husband/father was so loved and we were lucky to have him as a friend and part of our lives. We know how much he loved you all! Joyce\’s bed was made by a good friend of your father\’s from No. Dakota and it always will remind us of him. We feel honored that we were able to have him in our lives and he will truly be missed but never forgotten. Love, Ellen & Joyce

  20. It is with much sorrow that I read about the passing of Joe in the Minneapolis Star Tribune this Christmas Day. Joe was a former teammate of mine on the Fighting Sioux track team at the University of North Dakota. He was truly a colorful, one of a kind individual who would bring a smile to all he encountered. I suspect he packed a very full and interesting life into his 49 years. I extend my deepest sympathy to his family. Bob Fransen

  21. Dear Joe, I understand you are no longer with us and I am terribly saddened. When I heard from Geoffry, my son, that you had passed I immediately felt a huge sense of loss even though you and I had not seen much of one another these past few years…we had spoken by phone especially once you had gotten sick or through Hank. You did, however, call me a few Saturdays ago at my office…and it was a blast talking with you as we spoke about the truly important things in life…our families. We last saw one another coming out of the final Lakers\’ Playoff Game last year and it was fun as we hugged and I reintroduced you to Geoffry, Anissa and the kids. It was a delight! Joe, you will be terribly missed…I know your sons & Kathy will always have a “burn” in their hearts for you as will the rest of us who had the privilege of knowing you these past twenty years or so. Your memory will live forever. My memories began with our first meeting back in 1980 (I think) at KHJ-TV. You were dressed in a dark suit with a red bow tie, red suspenders and I think red shoes…I immediately turned to both Jon Smart & Chuck Velona and said…”I do not know who this guy is from North Dakota but if he has the guts to come in here looking for a job dressed like that he has to get hired”…and you did and it was to all of our benefit. It was fun to get to know and work with you…it was truly one of the best times of my life! I also remember our times in Lake Tahoe with the sales team, meeting Kathy for the first time, you & Kathy\’s trips to our house in Plam Springs, the times I tried to run with you…(what a joke…you ran,I crawled)…all of which will truly be memories I will cherish for the rest of my life. Joe, you are a great husband, father, and friend. You are someone all of us want to be like. We are better people because we got to know you and be your friend. Your sons have had the honor to know you in good health and bad…you handled it like the warrior you are. Now you are in a healthy place with your body back in tact so go run my friend…someday we can do it again! I send you, Kathy and your sons all of my family\’s love…you, my friend, will be missed. I shed a tear today but I know your pain is behind you…my love to you all. God Bless. Brian Gurnee & Family

  22. I wish to express my my deepest heartfelt sympathies to the family of my longtime and dear friend. Our friendship began many years ago in Richfield, Minnesota and we had many, many fun times together. Our lives have since drifted in different directions but I have always considered Joe my very close friend and will miss him immensely. I simply cannot imagine my life without him. I have been blessed and feel very lucky to have known this wonderful person…

  23. Dear Kathy, Lucas and Samuel, Our prayers and positive thoughts will forever be with you and the boys. We hope all the love surrounding you this week will help you reflect on what a wonderful man Joe is and in our hearts, will be forever. We hope that the tradition of a Minnesota trip will reamin in your future. All our love, Gary and Claudette Grandbois

  24. Kathy, Lucas, Samuel and friends, I attended high school in Richfield, Minnesota with your husband, father, and dearest friend, Joe. Although we never were close friends or even hung out together, I can remember Joe\’s wonderful spirit and zest for life. It was felt whenever our paths crossed between classes or even later, during the brief times we shared salutations at 10 and 20 year high school class reunions. I only wish I would have known him better. But, with Joe, you only had to know him a little bit to know he was a friend. Joe was a special life force, which makes it hard to except his passing. To his dearest family and friends. Others, some of which I know, and whose rememberences here I\’ve read, Thank you for so eloquently sharing your own personal thoughts and feelings for Joe. They descibe his loving nature and how fondly he is remembered by those his life touched. I will remember this about Joe…. a quick hugely warm, and genuinely, friendly smile as he greeted you. Joe knew how to make others feel special: to live, to touch, to reach out, and to connect with others. Joe was able always was making those wonderful human connections that all of us cherish about Joe. His own humanity that was free for the taking to all of us at any particular moment. My condolences and heart-felt wishes to all of you. D.Louie Johnson RHS Class of \’71

  25. Dear Kathy,Lucas andSamuel we are so sorry to hear the news about Joe. he was an amazing man I was glad to know him and we had many years of fun playing hockey together in LA.on the Dragons our friend and teamate Irving adlen called to tell me . He will be missed . It was great to see Joe and Kathy at the wedding in spanish hills cc just 2 years ago,last year in April Ihad a chance to go to North Dakota for a Promise Keeper event at UND were he went to school and I was thinking about him the whole time I was there . Know that you are in our prayers at this difficult time God bless you John, Karen, Christina, and Joseph Ferraro

  26. Dear Kathy, Lucas and Sam, It was with great sadness I read of Joe\’s untimely passing in the Mpls. Star and Tribune. I send my heart felt sympathies to you in your time of sorrow. I knew Joe (Bruce) for most of my life. First growing up in Velva, ND when Joe and his lovely sisters, Jane and Kim, would visit their dear Grand- mother Welo and stay out at the cabin at Strawberry Lake. Our cabin was nearby. Then we renewed acquantences at the U of ND in Grand Forks. We shared an apartment in Mpls on the corner of 26th. and Hennepin the summer of 1973. What a blast that was. I still remember all the shenanigans (Mick McMorrow chasing you down the middle of Hennepin Ave. throwing a broom at you as if it were a spear) and the street noise from that busy corner. We had fun and Joe was always at the heart of it all. Joe, you were the most giving and sharing person I knew. You made everyone around you smile with your energy and enthusiasm for life. It was infectious. You were an inspiration for many of my successes. When you moved to L.A. we drifted apart, but you were always with me in my heart. I recall the last time we were together. I was in L.A. in April `96 and you invited me to your home and I spent most of the day with you and your family. Lucky for me you had other guests (naturally) from our past. The Rudruud sisters. We had a great time reminiscing and catching up. Dinner was terrific! I mourn your passing and the world has lost a great person and Kathy, Lucas and Sam a great husband and Father. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers. Sincerely, John Anderson Minneapolis, MN

  27. For as little as I new Joe, the first thing that was obvious was what a great family man he was. He left us all with great memories. I wish the best for his family.

  28. Kathy, Lucas and Sam I am so very sorry for your loss, Joe was a great guy and a wonderful father. He was so very proud to be your dad. Please know how much he will be missed. Becka

  29. Dear Kathy, Lucas and Sam, We were deeply saddened to learn of Joe\’s recent passing. Our hearts go out to you in what must be a very difficult time. Although we didn\’t know Joe well, we always knew what a great guy he was – always upbeat with something nice to say to everyone. We could also tell how much he adored his family. You will all remain in our hearts and prayers, and please, if there is anything we can do for you, do not hesitate to let us know. May time help your hearts grow less heavy. Warmly, The Boyce Family Randy, Carie, Jade, Wyatt & Garrett

  30. Joe was my patient at the dental office of Dr.Steve Guidone in Manhattan Beach. I was his Hygienist. I am very sad that I wasn\’t able to say goodbye. He shared the ups and downs of the last couple years with me, including the loss of his sister in 2001. I must say he was one of my most compliant patients! You are thought of dearly and will be missed greatly. Leilani Grasse,RDH

  31. Dear Kathy and sons, I knew Joe in high school, but it was during our college years that we became good friends. I was attending Moorhead State while he was in Grand Forks. There were precious few of us Richfield grads in that area and it was a bit lonely at first. Whenever Joe was in Fargo, he would make it a point to come over and visit. I remember several visits to his grandmother\’s house too, a wonderful treat for someone missing her own grandmother while away at school. The most meaningful conversation I\’d ever had with Joe was during the 25th class reunion. We finally found the chance to park and talk for about an hour, and that conversation was all about kids and family. I have two sons also, now nineteen and seventeen, so we talked about what the unfolding years might hold for Sam and Lucas. Mostly, he spoke of how proud he was of them, how important it was that he was instilling the values that he most believed in, and that his family was the thing that centered his life. It was clear that he loved you all deeply. Joe lit up every room he ever walked into. I\’m sure he\’s lighting the heavens now. My heartfelt sympathies to all of you on the loss of your husband and dad. He was an exceptional human being and an all-around great guy. His generosity and zest for life touched everybody he met.

  32. Dear Kathy- I just wanted to pass on my most sincere condolences to you. I met you, Joe, Samuel, and Lucas while coaching Samuel in basketball a couple of years ago. Joe brought such a zest to everything and everyone around him. His positive energy had such an impact in every situation. I feel blessed to have known Joe and to have had him touch my life as he did so many others. My thoughts and prayers will be with you during this very difficult time. Sincerely- Doug

  33. To the family of Joe: we are sorry to hear of his passing. We knew Joe and his sisters Kim and Jane through visits to our cabin at Strawberry Lake, near Velva ND as young child. Joe\’s grandmother Mrs Welo and our grandmother Anna Miller were good friends. We still visit Velva often and think of the Cartwright family and good times at Strawberry Lake. Later while attending UND it seemed that everyone I met knew Joe. He had charisma that drew people to him. He will be missed by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Ann (Fowler)Clark, Heidi (Fowler)Krivarchka and Debbie (Fowler)Swanson.

  34. We just want to extend our heartfelt condolences to you, Kathy, and your boys. My Tyler and Lucas played basketball at HBYB a few seasons back. It was a joy to share the season with your beautiful family. Joe always had kind, encouraging words for Tyler. I often saw Joe on the strand with his beloved dog, and they were a sight! He exuded his love for life. I couldn\’t help but smile when I saw him “fly” by. Kathy, Lucas & Samuel, we will keep you in our prayers. God Bless.

  35. Dear Kathy, Sam & Lucas, We will forever think of Joe when our family walks down the Strand and 20th Street. His love for his family and his life at the beach were as conspicuous as his blonde hair. We are truly inspired by Joe\’s strength, courage and selflessness during his incredible fight this past year and hope that it helps you all get through this challenging time. Your Friends and Neighbors, The Gordons

  36. Dear Kathy Kim and I are so sorry to hear of Joe\’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You and Joe will always have a special place in our hearts. Our neglect in keeping in touch deepens our sadness. Joe opened his arms to a couple of young small-town kids coming to LA and made us feel right at home. Of course as you well know, that was his nature. When you two started going out we knew it was a match. And your strength and determanation would not have it any other way. That strength and determanation that we have seen in you will help you in these trying times. Everyday I have a thought of the great times all of us had. And when somebody ask\’s “what was it like out in California” the first image to pop in my head is that of Joe & Kathy Cartwright. As I read the other memories it comes as no suprise that you and Joe have rasied a wonderful family. Kim and I look forward to meeting your boys and listening to their stories of a great man…their Dad. Love Kim & Mark

  37. This is the most difficult thing I have ever attempted to type; even when my own Mother died, it seemed expected, natural. But Joe\’s passing is almost obscene, until one considers that Joe now is in a place he has learned about, prayed about, perhaps even dreamed about. He is there with a body free from pain, from disease, with the unbridled energy and enthusiasm that he brought into each day of his life, and into those he met. Kathy, Lucas and Samuel, I know it is hard, even now, to think of a future without your Joe. He was so proud of you, and so in love with all of you. But you must remember that you will all be together someday, in that better place. He has gone there a little ahead of time, sure, but gone there to get things ready for all of you. I have too many beautiful memories of Joe to try to recount here; suffice it to say I have never known a more generous, more loving, more honest, more energetic and energizing man than Joe. Kristi and the girls and I will miss Joe; but we also know we will see him again in the future. Meyer

  38. Kathy, Lucas, & Samuel… Your Dad, your husband, was a great source of inspiration and motivation to me. The early years I spent working with him at WDAY…Many things I learned from him…the dreams we shared about the big city…and the big time… His endless energy and upbeat outlook…. I photographed Joe running with the Olympic Torch in 1984 LA. He was so proud and strong. It seemed he could live forever. I am very sad. I am very sorry for your loss. I am very glad I knew Joe. Harold Weatherly Steamboat Springs, CO

  39. I was shocked to hear of Joe\’s passing. Joe and I shared many a fond memory of fun times at UND. Joe probably studied harder that I did, however! Later, in Fargo, we shared a house for a short while and more good times. One of the nicest most genuine men I have ever known. My sympathies to his family. Eric (Doc) Odney St. Paul, MN

  40. Our deepest sympathies to Joe\’s family from old acquaintances who knew Joe in Fargo, North Dakota many years ago. Joe didn\’t know any strangers. He was a fine man who was so personable and outgoing, who will never be forgotten. Our thoughts are with you and we are so saddened to learn of his untimely death. Corinne & Bill Boerth (Harold Weatherly\’s sister and brother-in-law)

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle

Sign the Guestbook