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Hit-and-run victim memorialized

Hit-and-run victim memorialized

March 7th, 2018 by Helen Wilbers in News

Joe Anderson, left, one of Dustin Anderson's brothers, writes a message on a balloon to be released Tuesday. He's launched an online fundraiser for his brother's cremation expenses.

Photo by Helen Wilbers /News Tribune.

While the balloons tugged at their strings in the sudden blizzard, someone pointed out that Dustin Anderson always loved snow and practical jokes.

Anderson's family and friends gathered Tuesday at John C. Harris Community Center for a balloon release in his memory. He was killed in an apparent hit-and-run Sunday while walking along U.S. 54. As of Tuesday, Fulton police had not announced any progress on the case.

"He was a good son," said Don Prince, Anderson's stepfather. "We went on road trips together, and we survived them all. He didn't survive this one."

Anderson's mother, Theresa Prince, brothers Joe Anderson and Shane Waltman, and sister Rachel Prince, along with partners and children, released balloons for Dustin. Prince watched hers — a single, red, heart-shaped balloon — sail away from the chair where she sat.

More than 200 blue and white balloons sailed into the snowy sky.

"We released balloons last week for Braeden Sconce," Fulton Soup Kitchen President Katherine Bader said.

Sconce, a South Callaway High School graduate, died Feb. 27 after being injured in a Feb. 4 car crash. Anderson, a frequent soup kitchen volunteer, was present at that balloon release.

"Dustin was right next to me, and he told me, 'I bet nobody would release balloons for me, but if they did, I'd like blue,'" Bader said.

Many of the balloons for Dustin, 31, bore messages written by his friends and family.

"Mine said, 'I hope you'll be good up there,'" said Wade Pollock, Dustin's nephew.

He and Dustin often played Call of Duty together (they were equally skilled, according to Pollock) and traded baseball caps back and forth.

Other attendees spoke about Dustin's generosity and sense of humor.

"He'd give you the shirt off his back," Sally Gibbons said. "If he had a dollar and you needed a dollar to buy a soda, he'd give you that dollar. He was a joker and a clown, and as you can tell from the crowd here, he was well-loved."

Gibbons said Dustin frequently stayed at her house and considered her a second mother.

Joe Anderson has set up a fundraiser for his younger brother's cremation, which can be found at bit.ly/2FyL8Wp.

Anyone with information about the circumstances of Dustin's death can call the Fulton Police Department, Missouri Highway Patrol or local law enforcement.