March 5, 1939-Dec. 10, 2023

Carol Carter Montaño Verhaeren passed peacefully, on Dec. 10, 2023, at 84 years of age. She was surrounded by her family.

Carol was born March 5th, 1939, in Minersville, Utah, to parents Elmer and Elaine Carter.

At the age of 2, her family relocated to San Diego, California, where she grew up.

Carol loved to dance. At a Marine Corps ball, she met her future husband, Ricardo Antonio Montaño. Rick was a member of the US Marine Corps Band. In 1956, Carol and Rick were married. That union produced six children. Carol’s husband Rick passed away in 1971. She later married Tom Verhaeren.

In 1978, Tom and Carol moved to St. George, where they opened Tom’s Deli. It was the first and only sandwich shop in St. George for many years. Although Carol had never made potato salad, she threw together some ingredients that she thought would be tasty. Those ingredients became the now-famous Tom’s Deli potato salad, which later became a staple for many generations of loyal Tom’s Deli customers.

Everyone knew the witty lady at the cash register taking orders, and they knew that they would receive a free side of sass with their order. Carol often stopped the whole line, to head around the counter to see a new baby. Everyone would have to wait until she welcomed the new one to the Deli family.

After 20 years, Carol sold the business to her youngest daughter Toni, but for many years she continued to come in daily to make her famous potato salad and visit with the customers.

For most of her life, Carol was strong and athletic. Tough as nails, sometimes she would arm wrestle the
guys and could do pull-ups into her seventies. She didn’t mind changing a tire, mowing the lawn, or digging out in the dirt with the grandkids. She was an amazing seamstress and an excellent cook. Her pie crust was perfect, her Mexican dishes were delicious and authentic, and her fried chicken was the best you ever had. She loved to golf and fish, but bowling was the activity she continued to do until she could no longer stand. You could be sure to find her at Dixie Bowl on a Wednesday night.

Carol was preceded in death by her parents and all three of her siblings, Gary, Judy and Scott, her first husband Rick Montaño and grandsons Nicolas Hennessey, and Vincent Buice.

She is survived by her children Susi Hennessey (John), Ricardo Antonio (Rick) Montaño (Shannon), Cheri Lynn Montaño, Cinthia Ann (Cindy) Montaño Hayes (Gordon), Maria Elena (Leni) Buice (Todd) and Maria Antonia (Toni) Montaño. She also leaves behind 13 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, with one on the way.

The family would like to thank the amazing team that cared for her at St. George Regional Hospital, her Renew Hospice team, led by nurse Michelle Jacobs, who gave exceptional care to our mom and the staff at The Meadows memory care unit.

As per Carol’s wishes, there will be no services.

In lieu of flowers, if you feel the need to honor our mom, you can donate to:

The Arthritis Foundation or The Alzheimer’s Association

Family and friends are invited to share tributes online. Arrangements and memorial tree planting by Serenity Funeral Home of Southern Utah, 435-986-9100.