Carol Smith Madsen, 97, died, January 15, 2023, peacefully at home, surrounded by her loving family. She was born January 7, 1926, in her grandmother Smith’s home on 3rd Avenue, to Silas Schwartz Smith MD and Cenella Ruth Haslam. Her father, the greatest influence in her life, delivered her, his second of three children and only girl. Carol is a great-granddaughter of Hyrum Smith, a granddaughter of Joseph F. Smith and Mary Taylor Schwartz, a niece of John Taylor. Carol always deeply appreciated and honored her church lineage.
She attended Ensign Elementary, Bryant Junior High, East High, and the University of Utah. At the “U”, she majored in dietetics and affiliated with Alpha Phi Sorority. Carol enjoyed many lifetime friends, whom she loved dearly. After graduation, June 14, 1947, she completed a year of internship at, what is now, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate, in Boston, Massachusetts. She joined the American Dietetic Association, remaining a member throughout her life.
On September 1, 1948, Carol married her first and lifelong love, Grant Wells Madsen, in the Salt Lake Temple. The ceremony was performed by her uncle, Joseph Fielding Smith.
Grant, a grandson of Heber J. Grant and Emily Harris Wells, served in the Army Air Corps during WW II. Carol and Grant delighted in the birth of two daughters: Caron in June 1949, and Christine in September 1950. After completing law school, Grant, as a member of the Utah National Guard, was called to serve as a reconnaissance pilot in the Korean War. He was killed while leading a strike mission over North Korea October 30, 1951. His body was never recovered from the crash. His young widow became a lifetime member of the Gold Star Wives of America and the cherisher of his Purple Heart. Only two years after Grant’s death, Carol’s mother, Cenella, second counselor of the Ensign Stake Primary Presidency, former President of the Utah Medical Association Auxiliary, and member of the Salt Lake Ladies Literary Club, plunged to her death in a car accident in Parley’s Canyon June 1, 1953.
Carol, at age 25, to support herself and her two young girls, began her dietetic career at the LDS Hospital where her father, a past president of the Utah Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, was president of the LDS Hospital staff. Her job was close enough to her home that she could walk to work. Early every morning she rose to prepare nutritious, tasty sack lunches. She wrote cheery notes to her girls and left 5-star breakfasts on the kitchen table – never neglecting finishing touches like a maraschino cherry atop a fully sectioned half grapefruit dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Daily, her girls would walk to the hospital, too, to see their mom, have their ponytails combed, get a hug and be on their way to Ensign School. She worked at the LDS Hospital for 10 years. Her career then took her to the Salt Lake VA Hospital from which she retired after 23 years. While working at the VA, Carol returned to college to earn a master’s degree after her daughters finished their degrees at the University of Utah.
Blessed with an abiding faith in the resurrection of Christ, Joseph Smith’s First Vision, the Mormon Church, and her pioneer heritage, Carol had a cheerful, resilient disposition. She met life’s challenges with grace, steely determination, and humor. One of her favorite lines when asked, “How are you?” was, “I am healthy and well-adjusted.” Her father Silas, and the families of Silas Jr. and Ruth, Richard and Anne, Gordon and Carol and the extended Taylorsville and “Avenues Grantsville” relatives sustained her as she raised her children.
Life dealt Carol another heavy blow, leaving the family bereft when, Caron , who had just turned 35, died unexpectedly from cancer July 23, 1984. When she knew Caron’s situation was hopeless, she said to Christine, “We are tough. We can take this. We are survivors. We will be blessed. We can carry on. Don’t be afraid.” Four years after Caron’s death, Carol fearlessly faced cancer herself. She survived cancer-free for the rest of her life.
Carol became very close to her four grandsons and their wives: Grant and Julie, Jeremy and Joni, Isaac, and Jesse and Emily. She loved, protected, nurtured, and enjoyed them all her years. Eventually, the four settled within walking distance of her home. They were inclusive, attentive, and appreciative. They were anchors in each other’s lives. And, with her daughter, Christine, were present at her death. Carol was especially thankful for her son-in-law, Jonathan’s, second wife, Janet Durham Winters who became a mother to Caron’s children and a daughter to Carol. Janet’s daughter Rosemary and Janet and Jonathan’s daughter Katherine brought sisterly love to the boys and joy into Carol’s life. Carol considered her great-grandchildren -- Cate, Joshua, Heidi, Samantha, Scotti, Cooper, Everet, Benjamin, Madeline, Caroline, William, Rufus, Jack, and Milo -- particularly good and intelligent as each has developed their own relationship with her while visiting, eating snacks, sharing affection, witticisms, wisdom, and family stories.
Shortly before retiring and after living alone for 30 years, on October 1, 1980, Carol married Elden D. Ames, the Chief of Food Production at the VA. Since food was a central focus of her life, she took many cooking classes and became a gourmet cook. Together, in their beautiful home and garden, she and Elden entertained friends and family for many occasions serving delicious homemade ice cream, Thanksgiving pies, Christmas rolls, candy, fruitcake, and Fourth of July lemon, strawberry, and blueberry tarts. Elden loved Carol’s girls and grandchildren. They loved him. Elden and Carol had 11 wonderful years together before he died suddenly of cardiac arrest January 2, 1991.
Widowed once again, she spent the next six years alone before, at age 70, marrying Howard G. Smith, her dear cousin May 21, 1996. Howard’s sweetheart, Lucile, preceded him in death. For 14 years, until Howard’s death May 28, 2010, they were sweet companions who traveled together visiting family and Church History sites in America and England. They had a lovely social circle of friends and thoroughly enjoyed their united families.
Carol’s husband, Grant, loved literature, fine art, and classical music. He loved performing in the plays at East High and the “U”. Prior to his death, he served as president of the Utah Symphony Guild. Carol remained an avid patron of these arts with tickets to Pioneer Memorial Theatre, Utah Ballet Company, and the Utah Symphony. She encouraged her two daughters to pursue these commitments in their education to achieve advanced degrees in literature and theatre and to enjoy these interests throughout their lives. With what little money she had, she ensured that they travel. Caron spent a semester abroad in Grenoble, France. Carol and Christine traveled together to Hawaii, Mexico, Israel, and Europe.
Upright and steadfast, Carol served willingly in many church callings in the Primary, Sunday School, and Relief Society. Enjoying Sunday church services, she rarely missed a meeting. She loved being a member of her ward with a particular fondness for her congregation, finding inspiration from their service, love of the Lord, and faithfulness. Carol held a special place in her heart for those who found themselves alone in life and engaged with them often for shopping, lunch, dinner, or a movie. As she aged, her neighbors took exceptionally good care of her.
Carol enjoyed reading, gardening, and had a flare for fashion. She took great pride in Utah and Salt Lake City, loving to see her city grow. She was a patron of local businesses where she made some of her dearest friends.
Carol loved dogs, mostly West Highland White Terriers and Scottish Terriers. These adorable Scottie dogs have been her companions for decades. They were her “always loves,” delightfully greeting her when she stepped through the door.
Carol looked forward to reuniting with those who preceded her in death: her beloved Grant; her daughter, Caron Madsen Jackson; her father and mother, Silas Schwartz Smith, and Cenella Ruth Haslam; her older brother, Silas S. Smith, Jr., and sister-in-law Ruth Irene Lange; her younger brother, Richard Haslam Smith; her husbands, Elden Darrell Ames, and Howard Grant Smith; stepdaughter and stepson Nancy L. and Donald Lee Smith. She is survived by her daughter, Christine Madsen; sister-in-law Anne Boam Smith; brother and sister-in-law Gordon Axel Madsen and Carol Cornwall; son-in-law Jonathan Scott Jackson; daughter-in-law Janet Durham Tate; four grandsons, Grant Wells Jackson (Julie Beckstrand), Jeremy Scott Jackson (Joni Hobbs), Isaac David Jackson, and Jesse Dru Jackson (Emily Craven); two granddaughters, Rosemary Winters (Tyler Anderson) and Katherine Jackson Petersen (Jonathan); stepsons, H. Clayton Smith (Sandra), James C. Smith (Susan L.), Willard C. Smith (Rosemary M.); and stepdaughter Florence S. Myers (Oliver K.); and 14 great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, January 25th at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT. Visitation between 9:00 - 11:00 AM. Short service at 11:00 AM. Burial to follow in the Salt Lake City Cemetery (11th Avenue, west entrance).
Dear Christine You may not remember me but I was a roommate of yours in the Dutton House. I want to reach out and offer my sincere sympathy for the loss of your mother. She was remarkable and a anchor to your family. How blessed to have such amazing mother. I hope you will have comfort and peace as you go forward in the future. My husband passed a little over three years ago and comfort and peace is a blessing as life goes forward. I pray for you and your extended family. I send my love to you. Connie Worthington Wilson
It was always so fun to go with my Grandpa Richard and Grandma Ann to go visit aunt Carol. She was so sweet to my sister and I, and made us feel very important whenever we would see her. As I remember my grandpa really looked forward to visiting with her and showing us grandkids off to her. Her house was beautiful and very welcoming. We would enjoy homemade candy while my grandparents would visit. She even had laser tag guns that she let us play with that seemed so futuristic to me in the early 90s. Always such a classy and elegant person. The first funeral experience I had was at her husband Elden's viewing. Very impressionable for a future funeral director. Sending Condolences to you Christine.
Thank you for letting me know about your mother and sending me the information. It was a lovely funeral. The flowers were beautiful. It was good to see you if only to the video. I know it is so hard to lose your mother. She was a very strong lady. She told me at my daughter's wedding to not tell anybody how much my dress cost. And she always said that she was doing well. It does not matter how old a parent is, it is still hard to have them leave. My dad was 90 and it was hard for me. My mother died when I was about 31. I still miss her. My love goes out to you and your lovely family.
All my love,
So sorry to hear about your mom. She was such an amazingly strong woman. I always admired her. I can still remember so many wonderful things about the house. Great memories. Sending my best.
Mary Amanda Fairchild
I enjoyed many years of visiting with Carol. She was always full of information, bubbling with positivity, and loved reading volumes of literature. Never did I leave her home without being offered a choice of Sees Chocolates ……her favorite.
She was a trend setter in fashion and she told me she appreciated me recommending Chicos to her. I will miss my good friend. She certainly was very well adjusted! ( her description of herself).
Chrissie! I have some photos I think would be great. You have many of them. The photos with Mary Schwartz and Cenela. I could learn how to spell our families names correctly. So let me know how to edit and fix. That was the most well written Obit I have ever read.
From my classes alone from two years behind and two years ahead, I rounded up 1/3 of us I found 500 of our friends. I must have two hundred Obits and none of them were done with this much though and class! Guess what! Alan and Heather visited me in NC. He is jealous that I get Christmas cards!
Thank You so much for making time for me! I love you! I think you should find something that keeps you happy and entertained! Aunt Carol was right! You got this!