Funeral Services for Dustin DeFord will be 1:00 p.m. Saturday, July 13, 2013 at the Carter County High School Gymnasium in Ekalaka, Montana. Burial will follow in the Beaverlodge Cemetery in Ekalaka.
Dustin James DeFord, 24, of Prescott AZ, formerly of Ekalaka MT, died June 30th, 2013 while fighting fire with the Granite Mountain Hot Shots, on the Yarnell fire near Prescott, AZ. Eighteen other firefighters lost their lives in the same incident. The entire Nation mourns the loss of these brave men.
Dustin was born December 13, 1988 in Baltimore, Maryland to Steve and Celeste (Crago) DeFord. Dustin joined brothers Brandon, Darren, Jonathan, and Ryan. As time passed Kenton, Stephen, Rebecca, Nathaniel, and Heidi came along to complete the family. The family moved to Columbus, MT August 1st 1990, and later to Ekalaka, MT October 30, 1996. Like his siblings, Dustin was homeschooled through elementary and high school, graduating in 2007. He then attended Cornerstone Bible Institute in Hot Springs, SD, graduating in 2010. Dustin decisively put his trust in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior as a young boy. As he grew to maturity his life demonstrated a genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. In 2011, he took a short term mission trip to Northern Alberta, Canada for three months. Through college and after, Dustin worked for the Carter County fire and mitigation crew here in Ekalaka, and got a lot of firefighting time in for the state of Montana. Dustin’s ambition was to be a Hot Shot firefighter, so he was thrilled when he was accepted this spring with the Granite Mountain Hot Shots.
Dustin was the “life of the party” at any gathering of friends or family, keeping everyone in stitches. He loved entertaining with his goofy humor, hunting, spotlighting, espresso coffee, noise of any kind, social life and life in general. He could be seen reading his Bible every morning, and was not ashamed at all of his faith.
Amazingly Dustin was preceded in death by no near kin. He is survived by his parents, Steve and Celeste DeFord; seven brothers, SSgt Brandon DeFord, Jonathan and Rachel (Anderson) DeFord, Darren and Becky (King) DeFord, Ryan DeFord, Kenton DeFord, Stephen DeFord, and Nathaniel DeFord; two sisters, Rebecca DeFord and Heidi DeFord; one nephew, Tucker DeFord; three nieces, Sage DeFord, April DeFord, and Samantha DeFord; grandparents, Lyle and Emily DeFord and Bill and Flo Crago; and too many aunts, uncles, and cousins to list.
A Memorial has been set up for Dustin DeFord at the National Bank of Ekalaka, Box 45, Ekalaka, Montana 59324