Former MT Ram Sale Manager, Lawrence Capra, Remembered by Industry

by Andy Schwab

Lawrence Anton Capra 1928 – 2023

Lawrence Anton Capra 94, passed away at Holy Rosary Hospital in Miles City, MT on April 20th, 2023.

He was born August 10th, 1928, in the family home at Boyes MT. He was first child born to John Baptist (Jack) Capra and Lydia Rose (Chiesa) Capra. His aunt Mary Julio and Grandmother Angelina Capra acted a midwife, as the doctor from Broadus was a little late arriving. His grandfather Antonio, uncle Louis Julio and his father Jack were working in the field binding oats at the time. When they came in for dinner, Grandpa insisted on seeing the new grandson. He wanted to confirm that it was a boy before he opened a bottle of grapa to celebrate.

Lawrence was the oldest of three children, Angelina (Angie) and Louis John (JR) came along later. He attended his first 8 years of school at the Boyes School House that was located 2 miles north of the present-day Boyes post office, then on to Powder River County High School in Broadus, graduating in 1946.

When he was in 7th and 8th grade, he worked summers herding sheep for Joe Landa. When he was in high school, he worked for Otis Nisley lambing sheep. He became good friends with Dan Nisley, Ross Denson, Dan Denson, and Bob McCurdy. And told many stories of their escapades. After he graduated from high school, he spent a summer helping survey the proposed Moorehead dam. Later he purchased an 8-foot Case combine and pulled it with a John Deere B tractor. When he wasn’t working on the family ranch, he and Bob McCurdy harvested grain in the summertime around the Boyes community.

In the spring of 1952, he met Miriam Scoles at a dance in Hammond. She was staying at Boyes with a friend and fellow nurse, Linda Trucano. A relationship blossomed out of this meeting, and they were married on October 18th, 1952. After a honeymoon in California, they made their home at the Capra Ranch at Boyes where they remained for the next 68 years.

Lawrence and Miriam raised 5 children, Michael John, Louise Marie, Rose Ann, Laurie Leona, and Anthony Louis.

Lawrence started his sheep business with the help of Otis Nisley who sold him a few head of ewes. In the early 60’s he and R.O. Burch purchased a new breed of sheep from the Targhee Idaho sheep experiment station. Lawrence, Miriam, and kids raised some of the finest Targhee sheep in Montana.

Lawrence was very active in local organizations. He was a charter member of the East Fork Roping Club, a charter member and Secretary for the Cochran Grazing Association 50 years, charter member of the Center of the Nation Wool Pool, Chairman of the Montana Ram Sale for 29 years. Charter member and first President of the Montana 4-H Council. Past President of Montana Wool Growers. Member and past President of the National Targhee Sheep Association. He was Chairman of the board for Powder River County School District as well as a Montana Livestock brand inspector for over 50 years.

Lawrence and Miriam dedicated themselves to the unconditional loving care of Anthony for the first 16 years of his life until he moved to the Black Hills Workshop in Rapid City, SD. They were especially proud of the artwork that Anthony did at the Workshop. They were able to travel around South Dakota for some of his art shows. After Miriam passed both Lawrence and Anthony moved to the PR Manor, Lawrence’s purpose in life was to check on him every day to make sure he was doing well.

Lawrence and Miriam in their younger years loved to visit neighbors, play cards, square dance, and annually attend the MT Ram Sale and MT Wool Grower’s Conventions. Farming and ranching were his passion throughout his life. Up until the day he passed, he asked how the sheep and cows were doing.

Lawrence is survived by his children: Mike (Connie) Capra of Boyes, MT, Louise (Wayne) Talcott of Broadus, MT, Rose Ann (Pat) Olson of Saco, MT, Laurie (Jay) Hostetter of Gillette, WY and Anthony Capra of Broadus, grandchildren & great grandchildren: John (Megan), Louis and Logan Capra; Lacy (Dan), Gracee and Karter Buckley; Lanesa (Mike Godbout), Denae and Tevin Statzer; Leslie, Angelina (Michael Hanley), Holden and Francheska Bannan, Latrisha (BJ) Playle, Leighton (Kaylin) and Ashley Bilbrey; Zebulun Olson, Leah (Brock), Braxton Strouf; Jaymie (Tom), Jaycee, Taylen, Trayley Lambert, Crystal (Chance), Case, and Callie Huntrods, Trevor (Joanna), Cameron and Logan Hostetter, his sister Angie Bisgaard of Belle Fourche, SD, and numerous nieces and nephews. Lawrence was preceded in death by his parents, brother Louis “Junior” Capra. Grandson-in-laws: Boyd Bannan and Judd Bilbrey.
Grandpa will be carried to his final resting place by his grandchildren.

A visitation will be held on Friday, April 28, 2023, 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Stevenson & Sons Funeral Home in Broadus. Funeral services will be held Saturday, April 29, 2023, at 1:00, in the Boyes Community Club Hall and Interment will follow in the Boyes Cemetery, Luncheon to follow.

Memorials may be given to the Lawrence and Miriam Capra 4-H Endowment Fund, The Montana 4-H Foundation at 111 Taylor Hall/PO Box 173580 Bozeman, MT 59717, Boyes Community Club, Powder River Manor, in Broadus or a charity of one’s choice.

Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting:


Stevenson and Sons – 2023

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