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Dustin Mac Price

August 7, 1981 ~ December 17, 2018 (age 37)

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Dustin Mac Price was born August 7, 1981 at the Harper County Hospital and went home on December 17, 2018 at the age of 37 years, 4 months, and days. Dustin is survived by his parents Steve and Zola Price of Laverne, OK; two half-sisters, April (Price) Hoiser and Billy of Arnett, OK, and family Stone, Courtney, and William; Tara Price of Woodward, OK Austin, Triston and Remmington; one sister, Taylor (Price) Miner and husband, Cody of Piedmont, OK, and Kaden; and one brother, Tyler Price of San Antonio, TX; two uncles, Scott Price and wife, Dee of Ada, OK, and family, Darcy; Rex Boyer and wife, Sharon of Hunter, OK and family Greg and Mat and an aunt, Pat (Price) Pyle and husband Terry, and family Ryan, Jamie and Erin. Many cousins and friends.

Dustin is proceeded in death by grandparents’ Ed and Vera Price of Buffalo, OK and Alvin and Geneva Boyer of Hunter, OK.

 Dustin Price was a happy baby living in Buffalo, OK with his parents. He was growing and doing all the things he should. But as he got older, he was falling behind the other children his age. He was happy and active and loved his toys and cartoons. At the age of 2, Dustin moved with his family to Laverne, OK where he parents still live.

By the time he was starting to prepare for school it was very evident that he was not progressing mentally and socially as he should and so started the trips to doctors and child specialist to find out what was going on and what we needed to do. During this time his personality came out and his love for animals grew. He loved to play with his toy trucks and haul his toy animals and put together corrals and pretend to run through the chute, something he got from being raised in a veterinary clinic. I was during this time that he met his best friend forever, a sheep he named Sue. A neighbor had given her to Dustin and he raised her on a bottle.

They were inseparable. He spent hours playing with her. His favorite thing was to put her behind the chute and pretend to brand her and whatever else he had seen done. She got pretend dehorned, vaccinated, tagged more times that I know. He had to check on her before getting on the bus and the first thing when he got home. When he came home on day and found her with two babies the joy on his face is a look I will never forget. She was his constant companion. No matter where she was, out in the pasture, behind the house, or in the middle of a flock of 200 sheep, if he called her, she would answer him look up and without hesitation come directly to him. And he would put his arm around her neck and away they would go on another adventure. He had a very similar relationship with Moo, his pet cow. He had raised her on a bottle and they complete trust in each other. When he would go out to the farm with dad, he would call her name and she would come to him and he could be as loud as he wanted and pull her tail or do anything else around her and she would never move away.

When Dustin turned 10, he was finally diagnosed with San Fillipo Syndrome a very rare and untreatable disease that causes progressive degenerating affects on the brain causing profound mental retardation and physical disabilities. The doctors told us there is not treatment, no cure and his behavior and disabilities will continue to get worse and he will lose all function. They gave him a life expectancy of 18 years. “Put him in an institution” they said. “He will destroy your family and your marriage,” they said. “We are taking home and give him as normal a life as we can for as long as we can” we said, and we did exactly that.

Over the next 8 years we watched as this happy energetic boy faded away. He lost his ability to communicate, his ability to dress himself, or go to the bathroom. He wandered aimlessly around the house and lost his with relationship with Sue. He could no longer feed himself and soon needed help getting out of his chair and walking. During this time our main goal was taking care of him and his younger brother and sister. We would have arguments like all married couples do but after his diagnosis and facing the reality of what was ahead of us, there was nothing that was worth arguing about anymore. When one of us needed a break the other on was always there to pitch in and give the other a break. He made the family stronger and made the bond unbreakable.

Just before he turned 18, we put Dustin in a foster home in Woodward. Even with loving living in western Oklahoma it had become so difficult to find people to help take care of him and it was starting to be unfair to his younger brother and sister. He spent 2 years in Woodward and we would go get him for the day or bring him home on special occasions. After this time period, he moved to Enid where he meet his roommate Jeffery and they would remain together for the next 18 years. Jeffery would often refer to Dusty as his brother.

As Dustin continued to get worse, he required more help and had become totally dependent on someone else for life. His disease forced us to make some very difficult decisions.

People say the measure of a man is what he accomplishes in his life, what he leaves behind. Dustin wasn’t a doctor or farmer or hired hand but he was a teacher. I have seen the life lessons he taught to his brother and sister in the way they treat people that have a disability, no matter how small. They show respect and compassion and are not afraid to stand up in defense for them, no matter who they are. If they teach this to their children that the world will be a little better place. Dusty taught us acceptance, tolerance and patience. He taught us that things don’t always work out like you want them to and sometimes you must work at being happy. He taught us that all people have a right to live the best life they can and be treated with respect. Most importantly he taught the power of family and unconditional love.

People will say it is so sad for this to happen this time of the year, right before Christmas but we look at it a little differently. What a magnificent Christmas present to be set free from your bonds, pain and frustrations that you have lived with your entire life, and for us to know he is free and back with his best friend, Sue.

Go rest high upon the mountain Dusty. Your work here on this earth is done. One day we will walk hand in hand and have those long talks that we couldn’t have here on earth. You will forever be a member of this family and you will forever be loved.

Memorial donations can be made in honor of Dustin Price, to the JD McCarty Children Center 2002 East Robinson Street Norman, OK 73071.

A private memorial service will be held at a later date.

 


Charitable donations may be made to:

JD McCarty Children Center
2002 E. Robinson St., Norman OK 73071


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