Eagle’s ‘little engineer’ lived a full life | VailDaily.com

Eagle’s ‘little engineer’ lived a full life

Kathy Heicher
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Daily Dustin Scriver liked to be outdoors " skiing, hunting and canoeing; he also was good at figuring out how things were put together, family members say.

EAGLE COUNTY ” From the time he was a toddler, Dustin Scriver had a knack for putting things together. His paternal grandmother, Emily Chamberlain, called him her “little engineer.”

He carried that inquisitive nature and mechanical talent throughout his life. Although never big on academics, and never bothering to read instructions, he could just eye something ” whether it be electronic equipment, unassembled furniture or a Rubik’s Cube ” and make it work.

A couple of years ago, a group of carpenters had been laboring for months to solve one of those complex, three-dimensional wooden puzzles. They got it apart, but couldn’t re-assemble it. When they handed it to Dustin, it took him about two minutes to put it together ” and then he spent some time trying to teach them how to do it.

“We all knew he was a lot smarter than we were. He was my genius son, who couldn’t get a ‘C’ in high school, but could put anything together,” says his father, Kevin Scriver, of Eagle.

Dustin, 22, died Friday of head injuries suffered when his truck was struck from behind by a semi on I-70 in Vail. He was on his way to a work site at the time of the accident. Family and friends will gather Sunday morning to mourn the handsome, easy-going young man.

Dustin was born March 25, 1985, in California to Kevin and Renee Scriver. The Scriver family, including Dustin’s older sister, Ashley, and younger brothers, Dane and Dominik, moved to Eagle in 1994.

When he was 9 years old, Dustin and a couple of friends probably saved the life of an elderly woman. She had slipped and fallen on ice, and suffered a broken hip. The boys were playing at the park when they heard her cries for help, and went to help.

They were able to contact her relatives by telephone, and set the wheels in motion for a successful rescue.

He loved the outdoors. As a teenager, weekends were spent snowboarding at Vail and Beaver Creek. He enjoyed the annual surf trip to Mexico with his father, brothers, and a group of guys. Dustin hit the surf again on a recent family trip to Hawaii. Lake Powell was another favorite.

His uncle, Ty Falmo, recalls taking Dustin deer hunting up on Hardscrabble in an incredibly loud truck with big pipes that had once belonged to Dustin’s grandfather.

That grandfather, who was something of a road hunter, had a theory that the noisy truck actually drew curious animals.

Sure enough, as Dustin and Ty chugged up the twisting road, they saw a series of big bucks, one after another. They never got one themselves, but shared a good laugh over the unexpected accuracy of grandpa’s hunting theory.

Dustin also enjoyed four-wheeling and rafting. This past summer, he and friend, Dustin Ehlert, spent every weekend canoeing the Colorado River from Sweetwater to Dotsero in their carefully-outfitted boat that they had dubbed the “S.S. Dustin.”

In high school, he drove a distinctive Blazer with a camper shell on the back that he referred to as “the contraption.”

Family members recall that sometimes, he didn’t like to get out of bed to go to school. He didn’t always show up for his shift at the family business, Stucco Works, where he worked alongside his father and brothers. On those days, when he was sort of AWOL from work, he often let his cell phone go unanswered.

But he was always tender-hearted, always had fun and would do absolutely anything that his mother asked him to do, family members say.

“No one frustrated me more, and there was no one that I adored more,” says Kevin.

His aunt, Kathy Scriver, of Eagle, remembers Dustin as an easy-going, patient young man with a “grin and bear it” attitude. Dustin tended to be shy when around people he didn’t know, but once he got comfortable, he was a talker. He was always surrounded by friends.

His maternal grandmother, Anne Webb, has four children, 11 grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

“I love all my grandchildren dearly; but Dustin always held a special place in my heart,” she says.

Dustin’s buddy, Jared Murphy, recalls that Dustin could take any sort of situation, and turn it around with his sense of humor.

Leslie Evans, Dustin’s godmother, remembers a visit to the Scrivers a few years ago, with her 5-year-old daughter, Kaitlin. Dustin played tea party with the little girl. And what a party it was. To Kaitlin’s delight, with Dustin at the helm, they created vanilla ice cream tea, peach tea, “tea” tea, and chocolate pudding tea.

“How wonderful that a 19-year-old guy would play tea party with a 5-year-old little girl,” Evans says.

After high school, Dustin moved out of the house, but stayed close to the family, most recently sharing an apartment with his sister, Ashley. He still stopped by his parent’s home two or three times a week to grab dinner.

His last visit with his mom was just one of those late-evening, drop-in dinners, the night before the accident. He lingered for a visit with his mom, and told her that he loved her as he left.

Dustin’s future direction as an adult wasn’t yet established when his life was cut short. His family members say they take comfort in the fact that lived life to the fullest.

“I’m so glad he did what he wanted to do,” says his mom, Renee.

Despite the trauma of the accident, Dustin’s organs were not damaged. The family elected to donate all seven organs ” including heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and pancreas ” to help others survive.

“My heart always ached a little for Dustin, because he seemed to struggle with life. I never thought it could ache more for him than it does today,” Renee says. “I find great peace knowing that so many lives will go on because of our loss. He will forever be my hero.”

Dustin Scriver is survived by his parents, Kevin and Renee; sister Ashley; brothers Dane and Dominik, all of Eagle. He is also survived by two grandmothers, Anne Webb and Emily Chamberlain, of California; his aunt and uncle, Kathy Scriver and Ty Falmo, of Eagle; and numerous other aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

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