Nina “Carol” Showalter of Naperville, Illinois, lost a long-fought battle with heart disease on March 22, 2023. Carol is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, Gordan Showalter; sons, Rick Showalter (Tricia) and Sean Showalter; granddaughters Melody, Jazzmin and Cadence Showalter; sister Fran Culler, and brother Richard Barfield; sister-in-law Marcia Barfield; and Iris, her loyal feline friend. She will also be missed by her numerous nieces and nephews and her cadre of friends who met weekly to play Bridge.
She was preceded in death by her brother,H.M. Barfield.
Carol was born on a rural farm in Ash, NC, and later moved to Hillcrest Heights, MD. She cherished her Southern roots, and throughout her life, maintained connections with her many aunts and cousins. After graduating from Suitland High School in Maryland, and Washington School for Secretaries in Washington, DC, Carol launched a successful 40-year career with the Maritime Administration.
Family was the center of Carol’s life, and she met the love of her life, Gordan. They were married in 1964 and after settling in Fort Washington, MD, they welcomed sons, Rick and Sean.
After retiring, Carol and Gordan moved to Naperville, IL and she enjoyed the many friends she made through the Newcomers Club and bridge groups. She loved reading, and never met a mystery or romance novel that she didn’t like. She embraced the time spent with her loving granddaughters, and could often be found at Rick’s house, holding court in his back yard, while he grilled all her favorite foods. She treasured Sean’s many visits to Naperville, and always looked forward to his phone calls.
Carol was an amazing cook, and loved to share her passion with family, friends, and members of her gourmet club. Her Southern upbringing influenced many of her favorite dishes, and she admitted more than once that she dreamed about food in color. Her recipes were legendary, and many are still in use.
Carol always looked forward to the annual trips to the Eastern shore to reconnect with Gordan’s family. Despite a few health challenges, she was able to enjoy two weeks at Fenwick Island during June of 2022. She had the full experience: watching the sun rise over the ocean, visiting with family and friends, reading, napping, and indulging herself in every type of seafood available.
Carol never met a stranger, and no topic was ever off the record! In a crowded room, you could count on Carol to be the one to break the ice and start a conversation with anyone who would listen. She was always fond of interacting with small children, and had a special way of drawing them in. Her memories of growing up on a rural farm in NC were popular with her nieces, nephews, and strangers too.
Carol will be missed in ways that words cannot describe. She was the light in a world that can sometimes feel dark.
To honor Carol, a Celebration of Life will be held at a date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to American Heart Association at www.heart.org/donate Condolences and special memories of Carol can be shared with her family online at
Heritage Cremation & Burial Society