Local Marine passes away while serving his countryDustin Canham is remembered for his loving heart BY PAM STEVENS | EDITOR Kind, honest, moral with a heart filled with love, were all words used to describe Marine Lance Corporal Dustin Lee Canham, a 2004 Lake Stevens High School graduate who passed away on Easter while serving his country in Djibouti, Africa.
Canham had a love of country, family, paintball and most of all, he loved his wife Devyn Remme Canham, whom he married in a private ceremony last October
“After we got married he went into active duty and was deployed on January 5,” Devyn said.
Dustin and Devyn met at a friend’s house a year ago and after only a week of dating, knew they had a love that would last forever. A quick four months later they were married in a private ceremony.
As Devyn talked about Dustin her face would light up and her smile professed the amount of love she has for him.
“He is the most understanding person, he was so moral,” she said. “He wanted to do everything right and always do the right thing.”
“He had such a caring heart,” Marlis Whitman, one of Dustin’s friends said. “He made everyone he met feel like family.”
One of Dustin’s passions was paintball. He had a huge network of friends in Lake Stevens and had just become the captain of
their paintball team “Forest Fire”. They were just rounding up sponsors for future competitions.
Dustin also loved serving his country and dreamed of someday being a Marine Drill Instruction.
“He was so patriotic. At Subway he would always order American cheese on his sandwich solely because it was American,” Devyn said with a smile.
Dustin was just deployed to Africa two weeks ago to a place where the poverty is extreme.
“I was worried it would be so depressing because of all of the children starving,” she said. “I was worried it would break his heart because he cares so much about people.”
What Dustin loved most in this world was his wife Devyn.
“I never doubted for one second since the day we met how much he loved me, he’s my whole world,” Devyn said. “I don’t think a lot of people have experienced love like that.”
Right now, Devyn is focused on her husband and appreciates the opportunity she has to take care of him for a few more days.
“I would have done and will do anything for him,” Devyn said. “No matter what I do for the rest of my life I need to make sure that I am someone he would love.”
A memorial service was held last Saturday, March 29 at Elim Lutheran Church complete with a 21 gun salute. His body was cremated and his ashes will be scattered on Jordan Bridge where he and Devyn had their first date and where they were going to have a wedding ceremony for friends and family next year, which was Dustin’s request.
Dustin Canham passed away after collapsing in his tent and could not be resuscitated. An investigation is still pending concerning the cause of his death. But there is no doubt that Dustin was loved and that he died while serving the country he loved.