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.