Leroy L. Capps

Born Sept. 22, 1969 to Roy and Carol Capps in Tacoma, Washington, Leroy L. Capps was preceded in birth by his sister Sherry and then his brother “Kevin” followed a few years later. When his parents separated in his childhood he chose to live with his grandparents.

Leroy was raised from adolescence to adulthood by grandparents Ernie and Isla Mae Hartle. His summers were spent in the wilds of the Pacific Northwest or the beaches of Alaska until it was time to go back to school. His maternal grandparents preceded him in death within the first decade of Y2k. His love for his grandparents and the PNW shaped the man he was.

In his youth, Leroy was a Boy Scout Squad leader and had earned the acclaimed Eagle Scout Badge. These skills served him not only in navigating the wilderness but in building a life of integrity that he knew could be his.

Packing shakes in the Olympics and professional clam digging in Alaska with his Grampa Ernie, took that Boy Scout right into his high school years where he put those hard-earned muscles onto the field and mat. Football and wrestling were his passion sports and he loved to compete. Part of his high school football was played in Montesano but he moved back to Ocean Shores and it was there he finished high school as a Hyak. He often times told the story of how he used to wear a Monte jersey to practice, daring anyone to try and strip it from him. Nobody could. As a matter of fact, he can be seen wearing it in the North Beach Hyak year book locker room shot, his senior year.

After graduating from North Beach High School in 1989 he attended Grays Harbor Community College earning a certification in Watershed Restoration. It was a heartfelt disappointment when the opportunity of a career in Natural Resources did not follow.

In his early adulthood, his first jobs included some time on the green chain, being a doorman/bartender/bouncer at Sydney ‘s Nightclub, and running the woods and rivers with his best friend Chris Schwenk and Chris’ boys Matt, Jesse and Theo.

Later, he took a job at Precision Machine Shop in Tacoma until he was signed on at IAM Union District Lodge 160 local 79 as an Outside Machinist Laborer for Lake Union Dry Dock.

He started as a general laborer for Lake Union Dry Dock and for almost 25 years. Leroy commuted every workday from Elma to Seattle without fail, working through the layoffs and call backs throughout the years.

Leroy first met his wife Joy in high school when she was a wrestling cheerleader his senior year, but their paths were not destined to cross and meld together until almost 10 years later.

Leroy and Joy were married April 24, 2004, and raised two sons, Tyler and Otto Jones to adulthood. One of his greatest prides was when he held his infant twin grandsons Jaxon and Bentley and then doubled down when his namesake Grayson Lee was born 2 years later.

“Born2Hunt_Forced2Work” could not have described his struggle better. He hated commuting the I-5 corridor, but wouldn’t give a second thought at waking up at O’dark 30 and drive all day scouting the woods.

His last hunt was with his wife where she harvested her first black bear, on a bear hunt with Guide Leonard Jackson, just weeks before he passed away.

Leroy’s passion was not only hunting but mining as well. His best luck found him at the gold show where he won an all-expense paid trip to Cripple River Alaska. There he met one of his TV heroes Tim Massey and even appeared on an episode of Gold Fever! His favorite memory of that trip was when Massey donned the Grizzly Suit and made his appearance around camp!

Leroy was an avid hunter, sports fisherman, and miner but also loved all things pyrotechnic. That is what drove him to punch in that time clock, to afford the time and resources to do it. His 4th of July shows were legendary and he spared no expense to put them on for his family and friends.

Leroy was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer in December 2020. Leroy passed away Aug. 11, 2023, in his home with his closest family by his side. Throughout the battle he chose to live life to the fullest and kept the parable “The One You Feed” close to his heart.

Leroy’s final wishes were that the family stayed with the Porter Property so that future generations would gather and grow there, just as his grandparents intended. He did not wish to have a funeral in any form, but the family has planned small meaningful private events that could be attended. A private, invitation only guided salmon trip with Theo’s Guide Service will be on Friday Sept. 22. Saturday the 23rd will be a Family and Friends Fish, Rice and Corn with Fried Bread feed out at the Porter Property, followed by a memorial slideshow that evening. The next specific memorial events will be New Years Eve 2023 and then 4th of July 2024.