May his memory live on in our hearts forever
  • 75 years old
  • Born on September 26, 1941 in District of Columbia, United States.
  • Passed away on June 16, 2017 in College Park, Maryland, United States.

This memorial website was created in memory of our beloved Father, Brother, Friend, Harry E. McGowan Jr., born on September 26, 1941 and passed away on June 16, 2017.

I have uploaded an audio file of Todd Carton paying tribute to Harry on TerpTalk Radio - it's worth a listen. (thanks Todd we are forever grateful)

Thank you to all who have left kind tributes, stories and photographs of Harry (Dad, Uncle Mic). We have added a timeline of Harry's life in the "His Life" section and would love your help filling in important dates, milestones or anecdotes.  feel free to post directly to this site or email Micheal (Harry's son) with any items and he will post them - email address:

In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation in Harry's name may be made to the University of Maryland Women's Volleyball Locker Suite Program.
(Please make checks payable to UMCP Foundation, write "Volleyball Team Suite - Harry McGowan" in the Memo field, send to 4603 Calvert Road, College Park, MD 20740)

A Memorial service was held Monday, June 19, 2017 at 11:00 am at the University of Maryland Main Chapel, (1101 Memorial Chapel, College Park, MD 20742).

The family is hosted a "tailgate" after the service at American Legion Post 136, (6900 Greenbelt Road, Greenbelt, Maryland).

Please check back here often for more information - we will be updating this site regularly.


Posted by Becky Mercer on 13th September 2017
I am a little late to the tribute page, but wanted to make sure I wrote something in my "Uncle" Harry's honor. We lost Dad, Harry's cousin, more than 10 years ago now. Uncle Harry came to his funeral and it was the first time I was able to spend time with him. He was a rock for our family, helping us plan the funeral, contacting family and just being a shoulder to cry on. After, I made several trip's to Harry's home in Maryland and got to "re" meet the extended family. We even caught and FSU/Maryland game together when I visited the following Fall. I am forever grateful that you were a part of my life during such a hard time.
Posted by Mary Wolfe on 17th August 2017
Ron Don Bullian and I first met Harry at a women’s Volleyball Game. As fate would have it, we were the fans of the game that night and had our names announced at half time. Harry Recognized Ron’s last name from having played football at High Point High School together. We spent time with him off and on from that point on visiting before and after U of Md sporting events. His love of trains always brought him to the College Aviation Museum when the Capitol Trackers were here with their layouts. He was always asking me when they were coming again. The layout in his basement was overwhelming. I am sure that he is already laying track with the angels. He and Ron can cheer the Terps on together from heaven.
Posted by Carol McGowan on 30th June 2017
This is a long overdue message about the Harry I knew & yeah still loved. We were married in 1968 after 4 years of back & forth "dating" since my graduation & his out of marines status. He was sure a good lookin guy in his uniform, but that's another story. We were married for ten years & had two children, Kelli & Michael which were & are a blessing. When our marriage ended Harry was as you might have already guessed just as gracious as he has continued to be the 39 years we have been divorced. Never a hurtful word from him to kids or me, just the same sweet man we all knew & loved. We remained good friends all these years later & he was always included in my farmer family get togethers & I'm sure a favorite "uncle Mick" as he was known by most of my nieces & nephews.. I miss him & all his many lovable favorites, like his love of model trains & of course his dedication to ALL things Maryland sports. I'm sure some rough times coming with just the everyday rememberances & the holidays. I know it's an old cliche but he is truly in a better place, at peace& healthy again & with his mom & dad again & I'll see him again. Thanks to all who wrote here. Carol
Posted by Brenda Frese on 28th June 2017
Harry had an incredible impact on our team and program. He was our hero. I can't say enough about the impact he had on all of us as he walked into our program and gave us that sweet, kind, gentle smile and how he came in each and every day with the same, consistent personality. He was quiet spoken, loved trains and shared his passion for it and loved our team. He was so involved from attending many practices when he physically could and cheering us on throughout the years with being at so many games. He will be greatly missed but I am so glad he is now in a better place. We love you Harry.
Posted by Marilyn Morin on 21st June 2017
I was blessed with having Harry as my neighbor for 26 years. He was kind, humble, funny, and smart and always had a wave and hello as he made his way to another Maryland game. It was a joy to talk with him about his family, work, and hobbies and hear how he spoke of others and their accomplishments with such deep respect. Harry was a good man. His quiet presence will remain in my heart and mind forever.
Posted by Bob Baker on 19th June 2017
Harry never intentionally did anything to draw attention to himself. He was a quiet man, never loud, or boastful, never given to self-praise. Yet ironically it is those very characteristics that made Harry stand out. In our current “what’s in it for me” age where self-indulgence and self-gratification run amok, Harry showed us how to live. He stood head and shoulders above the rest, and in doing so, Harry made the rest of us look average at best. The Marines’ Hymn ends with the following lyrics, If the Army and the Navy Ever look on Heaven's scenes, They will find the streets are guarded By United States Marines Rest assured, today Harry is on guard duty.
Posted by Neil Giudice on 18th June 2017
I can still remember my wife coming in the room telling me she had found her cousin Harry. Trish had done so much family research and when she finally connected it was like they had known each other forever. The smile on her face was priceless. They would talk on the phone for hours Harry telling her what he found on the computer at the library that day and Trish would research more as they were talking on the phone. Soon the day would come when they got to meet in Scranton and research and explore with Tom, Trish's mom and their cousins. Harry would call the house and he and I would talk and laugh I am a huge Syracuse fan and we would go back and forth about lacrosse and basketball. Sometimes football too. I had the honor to meet Harry and Tom and spend some great times with them. Harry even took me to a Terps basketball game and he showed me the ropes but not before we went and had some pre game wings! Harry and Tom made the trip to Rochester a few times and it was awesome so awesome that our 8 year old old Trish the other day I remember when Harry and Tom came to visit and we went to the park with the waterfalls, a memory he will never forget. I will always remember the joy in his face when he showed us the Giudice oil car in his train collection. Each of my kids have a memory that cousin Harry had sent them at one time or another because he knew how much they loved lacrosse and he made sure they had a piece of Terps lacrosse. The polar express he and Tom bought Trish for under the tree will always bring a smile and memory to the holidays Thank you Harry for all the wonderful memories in such a short time. You were so special to us and to Trish words can't even explain. I will never forget the day Trish walked in the room with tears in her eyes when she told me In a soft voice I found my cousin Harry. Rest in piece cousin we love you!
Posted by Craig Reed on 18th June 2017
I was 4 years old when I got a big brother, two of them in fact. I was probably more excited about having a big brother than they were about having me around, but every once in a while, I got to tag along, like when Harry and Tommy built a race car when I was 6. A real speciman. 2x4’s a piece of plywood, some old lawn mower wheels and some nails and we were rollin. It rolled down the hill so well I ran home and up our front porch steps, all except for the last one, which led to a face plant, knocking out my front two teeth, and making me, two years later, the proud owner of a new dental plate, which I still have 60 years later. Thanx Harry. Being 8 years older, Harry turned out to be a big influence in my love of music. Just about every afternoon we came home from school to watch the Milt Grant Show and later American Bandstand, listening to Bill Haley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and all of the doo-wop groups. I’ve never lost the enjoyment I get from relaxing with an adult beverage while listening to my playlists. Thanx Harry. Harry left home after high school and joined the Marines. While there were times that he must have wondered what he had done, he loved the Corps. After barely ever leaving Md., he got to see the world, from Parris Island to California, to Mt Fugi and back to the Fla Keys. When he came home from Okinawa he brought back this silk jacket with a dragon on the back for me. I was about thirteen and thought it was the coolest jacket ever. It didn’t fit me until I was in my early 20’s, but my big brother had thought enough of me to buy it for me. Thanx Harry. Into our adult lives, like most of us, life happens and we pursue our careers, raise our families and follow our interests. Harry’s was trains and the Terps. While I never got the train bug, our whole family fervently followed the Terps. My work schedule precluded live attendance, but I remember the years when I had tickets,and meeting the many people in Harry’s Terp family, and the tailgates that started at 9:00 AM for an all day party. Even if they lost it was always a heck of a party. Thanx Harry. My big brother was the epitome of a big old teddy bear. One of the kindest, gentlest souls you could ever meet. I’m thankful he was in my life. Rest in Peace. Thanx Harry
Posted by Gregory&Karleen Turnbull on 18th June 2017
We first met Harry just before the marriage of son Mike to our daughter Katie. Great rapport with Harry and Carol right away. We got to know one another better after a visit to College Park, with trips to U of M and Wash. DC area, plus an education in model train layouts. Next thing I knew Harry had me sporting a Terp football shirt autographed by Ralph Friedgen. We unfortunately had only limited opportunities to spend time with Harry, but they were enough to acquaint us with his outstanding qualities as a person you wanted to know and befriend. We are proud to remember him as part of our family, along with Carol, Mike and Katie, and grandchildren Mallie and Erik.
Posted by Ella Moyes on 17th June 2017
I remember so well, when my daughter was visiting me on Mother's Day, several years ago now. She gave me a huge package filled with pictures and all kinds of Erie Railroad info. It was from a cousin I never knew I had....Harry McGowan! I also remember a message on my phone, a beautiful soft voice said it was my cousin...Harry McGowan! That was the beginning of a friendship, never to be forgotten. I also remember the very big and very heavy box waiting for me at the post was from cousin Harry! Filled with all kinds of amazing things. Erie Railroad things ( we both loved Erie Railroad )...AND inside was a huge piece of coal from the Erie Railroad... now THAT was a fun thing to get in the mail....still makes me smile. I sent Harry copies of the diaries my Grandfather wrote in the early 1930s, and he was excited to read about his grandfather in the diaries.We shared lots and lots of stories and lots and lots of laughs. I was all ready to meet Harry in person, just last month and was sad to find out from his brother that he was back in the hospital. Even though we didn't get to meet in person, I know we loved each other...he was a special sweet person, just as so many people have said here in their tributes. I will miss hearing his voice and his laughing...we laughed a lot....
Posted by Michael Mcgowan on 17th June 2017
Such fond memories in this house, in the close circle of family and friends that has gathered in honor of my Father. Thank you all. Your outpouring of love and support is truly humbling. I've been trying post as many pictures as we can find from Dad's past - please check them out - some are quit embarrassing others touching. All speak to the many rich experiences he had over his lifetime. Please do share your person photos or memories of Harry.
Posted by Anita Crutcher on 17th June 2017
Met Harry through Todd Carton. He always greeted me with a smile and a warm genuine hug. Harry was a kind, warm-hearted man and I am so grateful to have known him. Memories that I will will treasure forever!
Posted by Daphne Lee on 17th June 2017
I know Harry as a gentle, kind, friendly and helpful person. I met Harry from attending sporting events at the UMD. He loved the Terps! A true Terp fan! He was a member of The Rebounders, official support group for UMD Women's Basketball, and a person who we could always count on helping out with every fund raising event. Thank you, Harry. The Rebounders will miss you, especially at our games and social functions and at Looney's.
Posted by Arnie Rome on 17th June 2017
harry is a gentle soul who was loved by everyone who knew him. He loved the Terps and seemingly attended every game in every sport until his health failed him. He also deeply loved his family, his trains, his Marine heritage. to his family:may your memories of harry always be a blessing to you and to all of us.
Posted by Todd Carton on 16th June 2017
I think it's only been five or six years since I started "hanging with Harry" at uncounted Maryland sporting events and sharing far too many pre-game meals at Looney's (where Harry never failed to draw warm hugs from waitress after waitress) and yet, until this past season, it was hard for me to remember the times I went to games and wasn't "hanging with Harry" or, in fact, so many of the people he introduced to me in his quiet, unassuming and generous way. I'll carry that spirit to every Maryland game I attend and probably still have too many pre-game meals at Looney's. And the next few times I go there, I'll be certain to hug every waitress and order a Harry's special drink. I might not have known you long but I'm privileged I had the opportunity.

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