Helping families celebrate a life lived.


Services & Obituaries

John Myers
September 6, 1934 ~
March 08, 2019
Date of Service: March 29, 2019

Kris Williams
October 23, 1950 ~
March 20, 2019

Marilyn Bateson
April 23, 1923 ~
March 19, 2019

Larry Chase
July 4, 1940 ~
March 18, 2019

Mary Fogle
June 14, 1920 ~
March 17, 2019

Eleanor Larsen
September 18, 1934 ~
March 17, 2019

William Fleming
September 6, 1944 ~
March 14, 2019

Thomas LaVeaux
December 25, 1956 ~
March 13, 2019


Deborah Stratford

July 29, 1953 ~ December 08, 2018

Service: December 20, 2018 11:00 A.M.
   Location: Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel

Deborah Jean Stratford, 65, was a woman so filled with vitality and passion that she radiated a palpable energy to everyone she met and all she touched. She lived life to the fullest, whether it be skiing, hiking, hunting (and butchering), fishing, canoeing Cliff Lake in good weather and bad, splitting 6-8 cords of wood every year, shoveling snow off her roof, building sheds, dancing in cowboy boots at the Bank Bar after the Wilsall rodeo, and working earnestly to improve everything she came into contact with. She was a steadfast steward of her family, dogs, home, forest property, and all the natural wonder that is Bridger Canyon. A long-time board member of the Bridger Canyon Property Owners Association (BCPOA), Deb was elected "Zoning Czar" and defended the rural character of the canyon before the Zoning Commission. She fulfilled this role for more than a decade despite an aversion to public speaking.

Born on July 29, 1953, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Clovis and Ronald Capadagli, Deb grew up in Southern California. She was married in 1972 and gave birth to her beloved daughter, Tracy, a year later. Within a few years, Deb found herself a single mom and sole breadwinner. She began a career in banking as a teller and eventually worked her way into a post as Vice President of Computer Programming. Never afraid of controversy, Deb stood up for herself and other women in a male-dominated industry to ensure fair pay and promotion opportunities.

Thanks to her parents, Deb was an avid skier. Seeking ever-distant adventures, she eventually found Big Sky and Bridger Bowl, where she fell in love with Bridger Canyon. Although Deb didn't move to Montana until 2000-2001, she bought "Deb's Place" in the canyon's close-knit Ghetto community in 1998, and the following year she traded in her Mustang convertible for a big diesel truck. Picture little Deb in full make up, coifed hair, dressed in a jacket, skirt and stilettos, spilling herself from her truck to the bank parking lot.

Deb died in that same truck on Saturday evening, December 8, 2018, in a tragic accident near the 15 Mile Marker on Bridger Canyon Road. Her death leaves all who loved, admired, and respected her in utter shock. We believed her indefatigable. We saw her stand her ground in the face of fierce criticism from powerful people who flaunted the zoning regulations. She was an avid advocate, utterly dogged and tireless. How could such a one-of-a-kind force of nature perish so suddenly? Deb Stratford was a true "warrior princess," but she was also a sensitive, tender-hearted human being, as fragile as the rest of us. She had a soft spot for golden retrievers, evergreen trees, and hungry black bears. She loved Christmas and would intentionally leave her decorations up for months afterwards. At her Christmas parties, Deb loved feeding friends her famous baked ham with spiced peaches. She made pies for the Firemen's dinner every April, being especially renowned for her apple pies. Deb also volunteered for Eagle Mount, helping physically challenged individuals enjoy the slopes at Bridger. She was a devoted mother, daughter and friend, dropping everything when needed.

Deb was a mother bear in defending her family and territory. But she was also a gentle soul, easily moved by love and life in the forest, and will be sorely missed. She is survived by her parents, Clovis and Ronald Capadagli; older brother, Ronnie Capadagli; daughter, Tracy Domion; son-in-law, Chester Domion; and lifelong friends, Pam Duty and Christa Mould.

A memorial service to celebrate and honor Deb's life will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, December 20, at Dokken-Nelson Sunset Chapel, 113 S. Willson Ave. in Bozeman, followed by a Potluck reception next door at Bozeman United Methodist Church, 121 S. Willson Ave. Guests are asked to remember the holiday season and try to include color in their spirit and attire.

Memorial donations may be sent to Eagle Mount, 6901 Goldenstein Lane, Bozeman, MT 59715.

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