A Mother's Recollection of A Beloved Son:


I knew there was going to be something special with this baby. I couldn't stop eating while I was pregnant with him, therefore gaining 75 lbs. during the pregnancy (the other 3 sons were 35 lbs. or less) and he refused to come out and join the world. 


I carried him a full 10 months at which point the doctors decided to break my water hopefully to induce labor. With my first son, Matt, I had been in labor for a very long time, and on the second day, we went to the hospital, but he was not born until after midnight. So with Dusty, his father, Arch Turner, insisted we were not going to the hospital (mainly because we did not have medical insurance), if you get there before midnight, the hospital charges for the whole day.

I waited it out through Wednesday night and the whole day of Thursday, until about 11:00 PM, which upon that time I told Arch that if he did not take me to the hospital, he was going to deliver the child! We headed out and immediately got stopped by a long train, I thought sure we would be having the baby in the car. We made it to the hospital, I was prepped and Dustin Alan Turner was born at 12:10 AM on Friday, February 7, 1975!

Dusty (was what I started calling him from the beginning) developed amazingly fast. He was rolling over, sitting up and doing everything very early. He was walking by the time he was 8½ months old and developed his own vocabulary that his older brother was able to interpret for us, and kind of all made sense. He used the sounds of things to name them, like Mam, Mam was candy and humph, humph was rocking horse.

Arch and I divorced soon after he was born. Fortunately that didn't really have any adverse affects on Dusty. I met his step father, Larry, when Dusty was about 10 months and we married when he was two in May 1977 changing our family to a two parent household with three children, Larry also had a child; a daughter, Heather. Later we had two more sons, Jason in June 1978 and Tyler slipped in on July 1979. Dusty had two older and two younger siblings. Our family was just a pretty normal typical family. We worked, raised children and kept actively involved with church, community and raised our children to be functional in society. The years passed quickly and my happiest days of my life were being a wife to a man that I loved and a mother to my beautiful sons and daughter and watching them grow into strong and good young men and woman.

Dusty was admired by everyone, people would stop us in the malls, on the beach or wherever we were and make statements about him; that he was going to be a wide receiver on some football team. We were at some trade show once and there was a gold and silver coin display there when the owner offered me a million dollars in gold for him! I knew he was teasing, but I told him that all the gold and silver in the world could not buy him.

During my first year teaching he went to a nursery school, which he loved and continued to learn so much from. When I was expecting another child I stopped teaching and we moved into the house where I still live. Soon after our son, Jason was born; I found out that God had blessed us with another child, Tyler. Dusty was 4 years old and when he found out the news he asked me if I could just take him back to nursery school so that he could be with kids his age and not have to hang around with babies, who couldn't even talk! I also remember him also asking me all the time if he was going to be 5 years old soon, because he was anxious to go to school.

I did not take him back to nursery school; instead I got a license and ran a nursery school here in my house for a while, until Dusty was ready for Kindergarten. Boy was he ever ready! He could not wait, he used to sit up on the bar stools at the kitchen counter and pretend to do homework, mimicking his older siblings; Matt & Heather. He also wanted to know if he could start playing sports, which he and all our kids started playing baseball, as Larry was a coach and I was a Team Mother. We did have a pool and I took the kids to swim lessons, so they were all good swimmers as toddlers.

His other real love was in scouts! He started scouts as a cub and went through the ranks until he achieved awards and became an Eagle Scout. Even as a child he took all of that so seriously, the pledge he gave to the flag and to the scouts, the marching in parades wearing his uniform and carrying the flags. I think it was partly because he came from a military background where he saw the respect for society and country and those were his role models. He always loved helping people and I think he just though it was rewarding helping others, because he was involved in a lot of things through scouts and as a Jr. Deacon at our church, where he did a lot of fundraising and campaigning to help the cause.

Dusty never gave us any problems in fact he was a great helper. He loved to work along side Larry, whom he always considered his Dad, he handed him the tools for lawn and garden work and learned how to fish and hunt along side of him. He also helped his younger brothers with their homework and he was my helper when I became a Den Mother for a troop of younger scouts.

Our house was kind of a hang out for a lot of kids, we had not only scout functions here, but lots of baseball Team parties and lots of sleepovers with tents pitched all over our backyard! As the kids got older Dusty became a role model for many of my younger son’s friends. They loved to hang out here so that Dusty would teach them how to tie knots and do a lot of other cool scouting things. But as he started getting older, other things changed too, by the time he was in middle school he was very busy but the girls were starting to call and wanted to hang out too.

When Dusty was in middle school he played in several sports, he had always played baseball, but he expanded his horizons and started playing football and basketball. Dusty took a real interest in swimming and I got him on the Bloomington Swim Club. He always loved to race in the pool with me and anyone he could get to race with him. He would learn things like how to make underwater turns and dives and try to teach us. 


When he was a freshman in high school he had a medical issue that although was very alarming, turned out to be not as major as the doctors led us to believe. He was having high fevers and his lymph nodes all started becoming swollen and infected. Our family doctor sent him to a specialist who hospitalized him requiring surgery on one if his lymph nodes. The doctor had taken me aside and told me that Dusty probably had leukemia or lymphoma. I remember being taken to the chapel in the hospital and being on my knees praying for a long time. As it turned out Dusty had Cat Scratch Fever, which is quite curable. 

He continued to maintain his grades and played multiple sports throughout high school. He was very popular in school and the girls were very interested. He took beautiful girls to the proms and double dated with some of his best friends. All the while he worked in his Father’s ice cream shop and later at Steak and Shake and saved his own money to buy his first car.

When he was a sophomore in high school he met a Navy recruiter who talked to him about joining a Jr. Military organization. He came home all excited and explained to me that they just taught you so many skills and that it would be really good for him whether he joined the military later or not. Because of the virtues they taught, I thought it would be a good thing for him and he joined. He had to attend a meeting once a week. This organization led him into joining an early entry into the US Navy, which I signed for him to do so while he was in his senior year. He attended this until the summer after his graduation, upon that time he was already committed to joining the Navy. I kept telling him that he should wait until after summer and that he might change his mind. It broke my heart when he left for boot camp within two weeks after his graduation. His older brother, Matt was already in the Navy and somewhere else in the world.

After Dusty’s completion of the basic training he came home for a short while then was off to another school, photography and from there he went to other training or schools and he knew right away that he was planning on trying to become a Navy SEAL.