Dusten Don Palanuk passed away at the age of 35 at his home in Portland. He died in his sleep Thursday, October 18, 2012, as a result of a seizure.
A skilled snowboarder, he was constantly in search of the best powder to shred and recently lived through both the 2010 earthquake in Chile and the 2011 earthquake in Japan while on snowboarding trips with friends. Dusten never took for granted the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of his surroundings and spent much of his free time snowboarding, hiking and camping. He had a true connection with the natural world, and was at his happiest when he was outdoors with his friends.
Dusten had a big heart and big stories, and instantly made friends wherever he went. Anyone who ever met Dusten can attest to his hilarious sense of humor and infectious laugh. Dusten was a notorious practical joker, loved giving people nicknames and making up silly raps, and brought a zest for fun and adventure into all his friendships. In part because of his ability to make people laugh, Dusten had a wide circle of friends all over the world whom he truly cherished. He felt true happiness was measured by his relationships, and brought his love, generosity and fierce loyalty to all those he cared for.
Many of his friends did not know that he suffered from a seizure disorder, as his vivacious attitude and vibrant spirit overshadowed his disability. Earlier this year, Dusten underwent an intensive brain surgery and, as far as anyone knew, had made a complete and miraculous recovery. His passing was as much of a surprise to his doctors as it was to his family and friends.
After the remarkable journey of his sickness, surgery and recovery, he was truly enjoying his family and his friends and looking forward to living life seizure-free. Dusten was planning more trips to Chile and Japan, trying to learn Spanish, and getting excited for a full season at Mount Hood. Because of all that he had been through both before and after the surgery. Dusten never missed an opportunity to enjoy life. He often said, "It's not what you have - it's what you can go and do."
Dusten was a survivor: a fighter with a kind and gentle spirit, who gave people the gift of laughter and great stories to tell. He touched the lives of so many in his short 35 years. He was deeply loved and will be deeply missed.
Dusten is survived by his mother and stepfather, Joyce and Keith Yam; his father and stepmother, Ken and Kathy Palanuk; his brother, Jordan; his sister, Sarah, and his stepbrother, Travis; Grandmother Elaine Palanuk; Aunt Renee Haworth (Jack); Cousins: Jennifer Misner and Heather Oster (Mark). Dusten is also survived by his many lifelong friends.
A Memorial service was held October 25 at Holy Trinity Church in Beaverton, OR. Please sign the online guestbook at www.oregonlive.com/obits.
To donate to the Epilepsy Foundation and for more information on Dusten, visit www.dustenpalanuk.com
A Celebration of Life service in Missoula is pending. For more information, call Ken or Kathy Palanuk at
Please sign the guest book at www.registerguard.com/legacy