Cover photo for Carter Harms Mcgowan's Obituary
Carter Harms Mcgowan Profile Photo
2001 Carter 2024

Carter Harms Mcgowan

June 15, 2001 — January 22, 2024

Carter Harms McGowan

June 15, 2001 – January 22, 2024

Carter Harms McGowan, 22, died January 22, 2024, in his lifelong hometown of Rockford. He was born June 15, 2001, to parents, Mark and Christy (Harms) McGowan.

He was a 2019 graduate of Rockford East High School and earned his Associate in Science degree from Rock Valley College in 2022.

A quiet, gentle, caring, thoughtful, smart, humble, selfless and polite soul, Carter never spoke an unkind word about others and sought to bring peace and calm to every situation.

He loved to read and was rarely seen without a book or magazine in his hands, no matter his location. He also was a devoted fan of Star Trek, Svengoolie, science fiction movies and old-time, black-and-white horror films, Jeopardy, classical music, history, podcasts, CBS Sunday Morning, jigsaw puzzles, vintage cartoons, YouTube and TV shows of all sorts, especially comedies.

Carter enjoyed evening walks, during which he would ask challenging questions about the future or discuss matters of philosophy, and attending summertime concerts at the Sinnissippi Park Music Shell. He always was an eager and happy passenger on drives through the Rockford area to see, appreciate and compliment the creative Halloween and Christmas displays in local front yards, the Festival of Lights or the Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition.

He passionately loved nature and animals, able to watch endless online videos of cute little creatures and committed to freeing any living insect he found in the house.

Carter also was an eager volunteer, most recently at Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary and earlier at the Northern Illinois Food Bank and Luther Center with his friends from the Rock Valley College chapter of Circle K International.

Survivors include his parents, Mark and Christy McGowan; sister, Darby McGowan; maternal grandparents Arlen “Buzz” and Barbara Harms; maternal grandmother, Jeannine Harms; paternal grandparents Jim and Carol McGowan; maternal great-grandfather, Bert Cote; aunts and uncles Kevin and Marie McGowan, Andrew Harms and Heather Harms; cousins Audrey Sullivan, Brennden Harms and Morgan, Catherine, Erin and Reagan McGowan; and many friends and family too numerous to mention.

He was predeceased by his paternal grandmother, Carolyn McGowan.

A visitation is scheduled from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 1, at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, 1860 S. Mulford Road in Rockford, IL. The memorial service will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 2, at Grace United Methodist Church, 3555 McFarland Road in Rockford, IL. Memorials can be made to Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary in Rockford, IL; Oaken Acres Wildlife Center in Sycamore, IL; and Friends of Rockford Police K9. Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory, 1860 S. Mulford Road, Rockford, IL is assisting the family. Visit to express condolences and share memories.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carter Harms Mcgowan, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, March 1, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory - Mulford Chapel

1860 South Mulford Road, Rockford, IL 61108

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, March 2, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

Grace United Methodist Church

3555 McFarland Road, Rockford, IL 61114

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Photo Gallery

Visits: 190

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree