Cover photo for Terry W. Carter's Obituary
Terry W. Carter Profile Photo
1950 Terry 2020

Terry W. Carter

November 9, 1950 — June 21, 2020

Terry W. Carter, 69, passed away from a lengthy illness on June 21, 2020. He was born on November 9, 1950 to Charles and Betty Carter. Terry, a lifelong Rockford resident, attended Rockford Public Schools, graduating from Auburn High School. He graduated summa cum laude with a BA from Rockford College and a MA from Northern Illinois University.

He married Janet Cutler on June 1, 1974. They both dedicated their lives to public education. Terry enriched the lives of students both inside and outside the classroom. He was a teacher in both the Rockford and Harlem school districts as well as a principal in both districts. He led many extra curricular activities, coaching National champion teams of Future Problem Solvers, coaching girls and boys swimming and girls softball at Auburn and East High School. He retired from Harlem Middle School and continued in education as a mentor to new administrators through the ROE and served as an administrator in other districts.

Terry enjoyed many activities over the years. As a youth, he was active with the Boy Scouts and received the highest rank of Eagle Scout, which was something that brought him great pride. As an adult he enjoyed bowling, softball, golf, and being a singer in the band Clutch Cargo. He served his community through various boards and organizations, as a board leader and facilitating strategic plans for numerous places. He was an active member of A.W. Rawson Masonic lodge, Salem Lutheran Church, MENSA and others. Terry’s greatest joy came from his family, Janet his daughter, Christina, his 3 grandsons, Carter, J.R., and David, whom he often referred to as his Three Stooges. His special gift was his sense of humor, which anyone who knew him could attest to. His legacy will live on in his grandsons, especially David who is a chip off the old block. Terry enjoyed many things throughout his life but the greatest joy he ever had was being Papa.

He is survived by his wife, Janet; daughter Christina (Gerald Rudolph III); and his precious grandsons, Carter, J.R., and David. Also surviving him are his mother, Betty; his brothers, Tim (Anie), Ken (Laurie), Bill; his sisters, Karen Thurow, and Laurie (Chris) Pielak; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Rick and Jackie Jewell, and many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his father, Charles; in-laws William and Opal Cutler; his brother Steve, and brother-in-law John Thurow.

A Graveside service will be held at Scandinavian Cemetery, Saturday, June 27, 2020 at 11 a.m., with a celebration of life being held at Terry’s home immediately following. Both events will be held outside so appropriate social distancing is possible. In lieu of flowers, memorial can be made to the family to establish at a later date. To send online condolences, please visit

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Saturday, June 27, 2020

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

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