Ride Dedication – Dustin Rada

Dustin Leon Rada passed away on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, due to complications of Huntington’s disease. He was surrounded by love, with his family by his side at the time of his passing. Dustin was born July 31, 1973, to Dale Rada and Sherri (Rada) Kole, in Clarkston.
Dustin was all high energy boy from the time he could walk and talk; he kept us all on our toes. He was a sweetheart and everybody loved him, and he loved everybody; he was the most affectionate child. His brother Craig was born when he was 4 years old, giving him someone to dote on and to terrorize, lovingly. The family moved to Lewiston soon after. Dustin acquired a bonus family when he was about 5 years old, gaining a loving second dad, Dave Kole and two stepsisters, Dina and Darci. They grew up together going camping and boating in the summers, skiing in the winter and making annual treks to Reno and Truckee to spend time with cousins.
Dustin attended Lewiston schools from kindergarten through 12th grade, graduating from Lewiston High School in 1992.
As a youngster, Dustin participated in all the activities a boy growing up in the ’80s could; from Boy Scouts to baseball. In his high school years though, his interests turned to cars and trucks. His first car was literally his grandmother’s Oldsmobile. It wasn’t long before he bought himself a little red Mazda pickup and right away he had to customize it. He continued the pattern of swapping cars and then putting his signature on them; lifting them up, lowering them down, tricking them out. He loved his cars and trucks and we teased him about changing rigs more often than most people change their socks. Dustin also loved camping, fishing, hunting, four-wheeling, snowboarding, golfing and basically having fun. He never passed up a chance to be outdoors, if it involved a motorized vehicle, even better.
The summer after graduating from high school he decided to be all that he could be and joined the U.S. Army. He proudly served his country for 14 years with the goal of making it a career. He graduated from Fort Leonard Wood Missouri Boot Camp in 1992 and from there was sent to Fort Sam Houston in Texas where he was trained to be an Army Medic. Next he was stationed at Fort Polk in Leesville, La. The first time he re-enlisted was for the opportunity to work at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C., where he was stationed for two years. Following that, he returned to the Pacific Northwest and was based at Fort Lewis in Tacoma where he was stationed for the remainder of his career. From Fort Lewis he was deployed to South Korea and then to Iraq with the 5/20 Infantry Stryker Unit. Dustin was not afraid to go the extra mile; in 2000 he participated in the annual 26.2-mile Bataan Memorial Death March at White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.
After having served faithfully and honorably, Dustin was retired from the United States Army Oct. 19, 2006. He then moved back to Lewiston and began his civilian career as a CNA, working for a traveling nurse agency, then Guardian Angel Homes, where after working his night shift, he would sit in the mornings and drink coffee and share stories with all the veterans.
While working in Moscow, Dustin met Molly Balmer. After dating on and off for a couple years, they married in 2009. They have a son, Boyd Hayward Rada, named after each of his paternal great-grandfathers. Boyd lit up Dustin’s life from the minute he came into the world. He inherited Dustin’s gift of gab and his generous spirit. Dustin was a wonderful husband and father and taught Boyd all he could about the world in the time he had. Dustin enjoyed traveling with his family, playing games and watching movies with Boyd and spending hours on FaceTime watching Boyd build Legos or tell him stories and talk his ear off, and sometimes he’d fall asleep.
Dustin was loyal to his friends and family. If you were his friend, you could count on him for anything, he would literally give you the shirt off his back, a trait he inherited from his father, Dale Rada, and passed on to his son Boyd. He always had a great sense of humor, a quality he never lost.
Dustin spent the last few years of his life at Lewiston Transitional Care of Cascadia, where they took wonderful care of him. We are forever grateful for the loving compassionate care they provided Dustin. We are especially thankful for the watchful eye Tanya had on him and the smile she would put on his face. We appreciate the open communication and prompt response from Kelsey and her team to all of our requests and concerns. He was truly a part of the Cascadia family.
Dustin is survived by his wife Molly Rada and son Boyd Rada, his mother Sherri Kole and his brother Craig (Brandy) Kole, stepsisters Dina (Pete) Peterson, Darci (William Duckett) Kole. Along with two nieces and two nephews and many aunts, uncles and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father Dale Rada, grandparents Boyd and Jeanette Rada, Hayward and Margaret Ellison, step grandmother Lynda Rada, and his stepfather Dave Kole.
Interment will take place at 11:15 a.m. Friday, March 15, at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery, 21702 W. Espanola Road, Medical Lake, Wash., with full military honors. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 16, at the Lewiston First United Methodist Church, 1906 Broadview Drive, Lewiston, followed by a taco bar, Dustin’s favorite.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to an account at P1FCU in the name of Molly Rada for the benefit of Dustin Rada. All donations will be sent to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, for research for a cure for Huntington’s disease.