Beloved husband, father and grandfather, William “Dusty” Hale, 82, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Friday, November 3, 2023 from causes related to age. His gentle nature, good humor and loving heart will be greatly missed.
William Marquess Hale was born in Carlsbad, New Mexico on April 18, 1941, an extremely windy day. When his uncle Earl stopped by the hospital–after delivering mail all day in a dust storm–he playfully asked, “Where is the little dusty baby?” and the nickname stuck.
Little Dusty spent most of his grade school years in Iowa City. In sixth grade, his family returned to New Mexico and bought a home in Albuquerque. Dusty (no longer little at 6 ft 3”) graduated from Highland High School (‘59) and attended the University of New Mexico for one year. He enlisted in the Navy and served for 4 years as a Fire Control Technician attaining the rank of Petty Officer Second Class. Dusty continued his studies at New Mexico State University and Colorado School of Mines. In 1966, just after his 25th birthday, Dusty was baptized as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a moment that changed and blessed his life forever.
In the summers between school, Dusty worked for the Boy Scouts of America at Camp Zia near Cuba, NM. He met a local rancher, Ross Bartlett, at church and the two became fast friends. That fall, his new friend was in a bad tractor accident and Dusty dropped his schooling to go live at Circle A Ranch and help the Bartlett family. He loved living the cowboy life and even more, loved the new female pen pal from Utah the rancher’s wife had introduced him to! After only four months of writing–and meeting once in person–Dusty sent roses and proposed in a letter that inadvertently arrived on April Fools Day. Nan originally thought it must be a joke, but their marriage in the Salt Lake Temple in September 1968 proved otherwise. The newlyweds moved to Seattle, Washington with the intention of Dusty finishing his schooling in oceanography. While gaining residency, Dusty got a job using his skills from the Navy at Dictaphone Corporation, servicing recording machines. He decided to stay with the company, and in 1973 was offered a manager position in Salt Lake City, Utah, which he took to live closer to family.
Granger, later made West Valley City, was Dusty’s home for all but the last two years of his life. He and Nan were blessed with one daughter, Cassandra, and were foster parents for several more. Most notably was Teri Anderegg, a 5-year-old autistic girl, who came and stayed in their loving care for 40 years. Dusty enjoyed entertaining the girls and their friends (and later, his grandchildren), setting up trampolines, swingsets and swimming pools, pulling them around the neighborhood in the snow on a sled behind the DUSTMAN truck, and going on family vacations. His health finally required him to leave his home of 48 years. We offer a big thanks to the amazing staff at Legacy Village of Taylorsville who cared for him like family, kept him social, and snuck in Dr Pepper. You gave him another 16 months of life to enjoy afterwards in Mesa, Arizona with his family!
Dusty was a collector of many things: candles, clocks, office supplies, decks of cards, Halloween candy, electronics, nature’s treasures, state quarters, matchbooks, and was well known for his impressive VHS and DVD collection. Dusty’s hobbies included building model rockets, photography, camping, sports, target shooting, recording the weather, keeping up with the latest technology, watching movies at home (usually with a cat in his lap), and listening to self-improvement courses. He loved working with the Scouts, doing family history and serving in many callings at church.
In his later years, Dusty enjoyed the simple things in life like visits with family, going for walks, playing ball with dogs, watching the birds, card games, ice cream, looking for the moon, and holding hands with his sweetheart while watching Highway to Heaven. He never said no to eating out, especially when burgers or enchiladas were involved, and found places like Walmart magical. Despite his increasing dementia and health problems, Dusty remained kind, amenable and cheerful (only giving Nan a hard time occasionally).
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Nan Colvin Hale; daughter Cassandra “Cassie” (Travis) Stuart; four beloved grandchildren, Sydney (Preston) Spaulding, Chandler (Danielle), Lilly and Charlotte; three great-grandsons, Jacob, Walter and Matthew Spaulding, and his two younger brothers, David (Becky) and Steve (Debi) Hale.
Dusty was preceded in death by his parents, Virginia Lee Marquess and William Edward Hale of Albuququere, NM; his two infant brothers, Donald and Jeffrey; and many beloved aunts, uncles, grandparents and pets.
A celebration of life with his extended family will be held in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Interment in Provo City Cemetery, Utah.
Dusty loved being around animals and children; he would do anything to keep them safe and happy. If you feel so inclined, he would be honored by donations to your favorite local animal shelter or children’s hospital.
Arrangements by Bunker’s University Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.