Dustin Dahlin, right, and his wife, Kori. There will be a memorial service held for Dahlin at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Kori Dahlin/Courtesy

Dustin Dahlin, right, and his wife, Kori. There will be a memorial service held for Dahlin at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Dahlin remembered as a well-traveled local

Manager of Big O Tires, Grease Monkey killed in rollover crash


Memorial service

Dustin Dahlin's viewing is from

5 to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Yampa Valley Funeral Home. A memorial service is at

3 p.m. Saturday at the United Methodist Church. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 775088, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477.

— Before Dustin Dahlin met his wife, Kori, he was a roamer and a wanderer, taking solo trips abroad to immerse himself in different cultures and meet the people of the world. When he married Kori, his adventures didn't stop, but he did gain some traveling partners.

"On our honeymoon we took three weeks and rented a vehicle and drove around Peru," Kori Dahlin said.

Dustin Dahlin, 36, was killed in a one-car rollover crash on Twentymile Road on Sept. 16. He leaves behind his wife, two stepchildren, his mother and stepfather in Routt County.

Kori Dahlin said her husband's spontaneity often was a cause of celebration in the family.

"He has this knack of surprising people, and for Christmas he gave our kids suitcases and passports and a couple of pictures. We all had to wait until March until we found out where we were going," she said.

The family ended up on the Caribbean island of Saba for that trip, Kori Dahlin said.

Dustin Dahlin's mother, Bert Rundell, said her son's love of travel sometimes perplexed her but was among his greatest assets.

"Anybody who knew Dustin knew he loved to travel. That was a real important piece" of his personality, she said. "He would hire himself a guide and he would just go. I asked him once, 'Why don't you take anybody?' and he said it really gives him a chance to get enmeshed in the culture and meeting the people in the culture."

Close friend Kristi Martenson said Dustin Dahlin liked to choose out-of-the way vacation spots.

"What he does is he picks up the National Geographic and finds places he's never been before, and he goes there. Places he's never heard of before, places that aren't big tourist spots," she said.

"He had no fear of going anywhere; I had the fear for him," Bert Rundell said.

After graduating from high school in Spokane, Wash., Dustin Dahlin moved to Steamboat Springs in 1991 to attend Colorado Mountain College's Alpine Campus. His mother said skiing got in the way of his studies and that Dustin never finished the program.

"He was a beautiful skier," Bert Rundell said. "Somebody recently told me he was poetry in motion."

Dustin Dahlin began working at the Holiday Inn Greenhouse restaurant, where he met Martenson. Bert Rundell and her husband, Bob Rundell, bought and developed the Grease Monkey beginning in 1997 and Big O Tires in 2002. As those stores became operational, Dustin Dahlin took over as general manager of both.

Bob Rundell said Dustin Dahlin was never a big mechanic - Bob Rundell had to prod him to change his oil when he was a teenager - but he liked to work with the customers.

"The thing about Dustin, and I think everybody who knew him knew, (is that) he loved his customers," Bert Rundell said. "He loved people."

Five years ago, Dustin and Kori Dahlin married, and the family, including Kori's children Morgin Harding, 11, and Wyatt Harding, 13, has lived in Phippsburg since.

Service is Saturday

Colorado State Patrol trooper Brady Kobus said in a news release that Dustin Dahlin was southbound on Routt County Road 33, known as Twentymile Road, at about 7:45 p.m. Sept. 16 when his Jeep went off the right side of the road and up an embankment, then became airborne. The Jeep rolled two times before coming to rest on its wheels, Kobus said. Dustin Dahlin was thrown from the Jeep during the roll and pronounced dead at Yampa Valley Medical Center.

Kobus wrote that alcohol and excessive speed were contributing causes in the crash.

Routt County Coroner Rob Ryg said it appears Dustin Dahlin was intoxicated at the time of the crash, based on tests conducted at the hospital. The final toxicology results accompanying the autopsy are not yet available, Ryg said.

Martenson said Dustin Dahlin usually was concerned about things like drunken driving, and it seemed out of character for him.

"The ironic part of it is that he used to take people's keys all the time so they wouldn't drink and drive," she said. At a recent birthday party Dustin Dahlin organized for Martenson's husband, he insisted the group rent cabins near the lake so they wouldn't have to drive anywhere.

"Typically that's not his nature, that I know of," Martenson said.

A viewing is from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Yampa Valley Funeral Home. The viewing continues from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, and a memorial service is at 3 p.m. Saturday at the United Methodist Church.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Steamboat Springs Animal Shelter.


Mike Forney 7 years, 8 months ago

I only knew Dustin as a customer of Big O, but he always had a great smile and great attitude. It is a shame to lose such a fine man so early in life. He will be missed.


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