At Volunteers of America Northern Rockies our faith-based organization is guided by professional staff and committed volunteers who create strong families and thriving communities through our holistic programs.

Because of the passion and hard work that the individuals who make up the Volunteers of America team bring to work each day we were able to empower 10,000 individuals to build healthier and happier lives last year. 

As we celebrate the impact we have had on those in need, we also remember brothers and sisters from our team that we have lost. When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure. Here we share our treasures. 

Benjamin Abrams, Jr.

Benjamin Abrams, Jr. passed away on March 22, 2021 at the age of 59. Ben was born July 12, 1961 in Cleveland, Ohio to Benjamin and Rozine Abrams. Ben graduated with his GED and then went on to serve his country proudly as a medic in the Army for 8 years, 9 months.

Ben married the love of his life, Laura Abrams, on April 3, 2012 after 10 years of being partners. He was the beloved father of Brandon Shaw and his wife Heidi, and his daughter Je’nine Nickerson. He was also the adored grandfather of Brandon Matthew, Chloe and Maxten.

Ben modeled servant leadership in his life. He often spoke about sharing the Fruits of the Spirit with others to bless and bring hope to those around him. He served his wife as if it were himself, loving her and being there in times of joy and sorrow, just as the Lord would have him do.

Ben showed great care and love to children, from his own grandkids to those of his fellow staff and the clients he served. He was a man of deep faith, who never came across as judgmental towards others. His own experiences and hardships supplied him with empathy and compassion.

After moving to Sheridan, WY, Ben joined the team at Volunteers of America Northern Rockies in 2012 and became a commissioned minister in 2013. During his years of service with the organization, he received several accolades and awards for Outstanding Service, as well as Outstanding Staff.

He completed leadership training and served his clients with the fire of a thousand splendid suns. He presented our clients with a heart where both love and accountability stood side by side. He embodied and defined the values of the organization without question. He was fun-loving and welcoming to anyone who had the pleasure of knowing him.

Benjamin Abrams

Chef Kellie Ann Carroll

Kellie Ann Carroll slipped gently from the loving embrace of her family on February 17, 2019. Throughout her life Kellie fought challenges with the fierce determination of a warrior but pancreatic cancer was a swift and cruel opponent. The first child born to Terry and Vera Olson on August 19, 1961 in Helena, Montana. Kellie Ann was the jewel of both her parent’s eyes, and from the very beginning she was vibrant and full of life. Instinctively nurturing and maternal, she showed the ropes to her younger brother Tod, and a baby brother Troy who she joyfully tended to as if he were her own.

The Olson family moved to Sheridan, Wyoming in 1978, wrenching Kellie from her senior year of high school, her friends, and the life she had in the Helena valley. Her initial devastation could not have foretold the good life that was opening up before her.

Kellie met the love of her life and took his name in 1983. Sean was her best friend, confidant, and true love in every sense of the word, and for 39 incredible years they shared a deep and enduring affection that few of us will be fortunate enough to experience. They kicked off their married life by Sean running cattle and Kellie pulling shifts at the Dairy Queen, all the while dreaming of a place they could call their own. In June 1986, they welcomed their daughter Amanda, and in April of 1989, their son Tucker arrived to seemingly complete the family unit. They bought and operated Kelly’s Kitchen in Ranchester and in 1993 achieved their dream by buying their own ranch complete with an abandoned Victorian house. During the planning for the restoration of the house, Kellie was confronted with colon cancer but it couldn’t compete with her determination to slide down the banister of her finished home. In true Kellie fashion, she beat it. To their absolute surprise and delight, Kiley Kate was born in August of 1998, an unexpected and joyous addition to the Carroll Clan.

In the early ‘00s she earnestly tackled the remodel of her old Victorian. She had never had a home of her own and through a labor of blood, sweat, and tears she transformed her beloved White House into something special: a feathered nest that has become a home base for family and friends. Family and ranch were her prime focuses, but Kellie’s life passion was food. Her work with Volunteers of America was more than a job and she invested her life blood into that organization. Her unique and accomplished skill allowed her to accommodate the spectrum from the needs of the homeless to black tie events.

She was honest, forthright, and unflinching and no one ever left her home with an empty belly. She rode for the brand – her family, her community, and her faith. She was quick to shoulder loads and take up causes that others had abandoned. Kellie always found space in her heart for those less fortunate, those who were down on their luck, and she invested her soul into helping anybody who needed a hand up. She was a fully defined person with strong beliefs and she rarely hesitated to express them. She was witty and thoughtful and kind beyond measure, extending her warm reach to anybody who crossed her path. Kellie had a wing span that encompassed so many of us and we are grateful that we had the opportunity to enjoy the comfort of her enduring love and attention.

Kellie Ann Carroll

William Charles Cappello

Bill Cappello, age 57, went to be with his Lord on Feb 27, 2019 in his home in Casper, WY, after a long struggle with cancer.  He was born on September 25, 1961 in New York and honorably served in the United States Navy.

Bill had a heart of gold and passionately served the homeless community.  He worked at the Wyoming Rescue Mission in Casper, WY as a Case Manager where he played a key role in the success of their programs. He assisted with administering over 3,000 Case Management sessions to include the distribution of over 1,400 thrift store vouchers totaling almost $45,000 dollars. He also supported 64 Discipleship Recovery program and aided with over 43,000 meals served to the homeless community.

In March of 2017, he joined the Volunteers of America Northern Rockies family as a Service Coordinator for the Supportive Service for Veteran Families program.  During his time, he served Wyoming Veterans with a pure and genuine heart. Bill greatly impacted the organization, community and Veterans as his skills were a big part of the organization serving more than 600 homeless Veterans in the state of Wyoming. 

Bill leaves behind friends and family and his dog, Buddy. He will be remembered as a bright, compassionate and amazing person who loved Batman. Bill had an uncanny ability to reach people in a deep and positive way.

Bill Cappello