Dee Thomas Anstine, age 75, passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack Saturday morning, May 20, 2023, while on a walk to a nearby Safeway grocery store.
Born June 26, 1947, Dee was the son of Arthur Harold Anstine and Thelma Mae (Hindman) Anstine . At the time of his birth, the family lived in Rico, CO. They moved to Telluride, CO when Dee was in the third grade where he continued his education and graduated from Telluride High School in 1965.
Dee worked on the Tailings Pond and in the shop at the Idarado Mining Company in Telluride for eight years. In December 1966, he married Bonnie Marie Smith and in February 1970, their son Troy Dan Anstine was born.
1972 brought a change in employment when Dee moved the family to Grand Junction, CO and took a welding job at Grand Junction Steel. In 1973, Dee’s brother-in-law, Dan R. Smith, helped him into an apprenticeship program with the Ironworker’s Union, Local 454 in Casper, WY. He became a Journeyman Ironworker and was fortunate to work with Dan for over a decade, having many adventurous experiences. By the early 1980’s, Dee changed directions and started his own welding business (Digger Dee’s Welding) and worked throughout the Western United States. Changing direction again, he self taught pipe welding and hired on with Questar Pipline Company, Rock Springs, WY, where he became a Senior Gas Pipeline Welder for the Tri-State Area. After his retirement with Questar, he worked for Toby’s Vacuum Truck Service in Parachute, CO, where he had the time of his life driving water trucks in the oil fields and became great friends with Toby. Dee shared his knowledge and expertise working as a consultant for an oil company conducting work in North Dakota. He continued to occupy himself with various jobs, the last one, making people smile at the Golden Arches of McDonald's in Rapid City, SD.
Dee was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and he held many callings in the priesthood. He also enjoyed many years of Boy Scouts with his son and friends. Dee taught them many skills to prepare them for their future. It was a wonderful experience as they worked hard to earn merit badges and awards for their patrol (Pink Panthers).
Growing up in Telluride, Dee and his siblings, when left to their own devices, demonstrated the art of knife throwing and knot tying for the lynchings. While surviving adolescence, he also enjoyed hunting, fishing, skiing, and jeeping the treacherous mountains. Dee also went on to play High School basketball and baseball. As a family man, It wasn’t unusual to see him with his wife and son bicycling, motorcycling, or on a midnight hike.
Everyone who knew Dee knows he was hard working and willing to help friends and neighbors. He was ornery, full of mischief, and had a great sense of humor. He always enjoyed opportunities to tell his stories, which were very entertaining.
Dee was preceded in death by his father Art, mother Thelma, four brothers, Gerald, Shorty (William), Patrick, Jimmy, and one sister, Joyce Culbert.
Dee is survived by his wife Bonnie (Smith) Anstine of 57 years residing in Grand Junction, CO, by son Troy (Darla) of Rapid City, SD, by brother Jerry Anstine of Montrose, CO, by sister Filietta Gardiner of Houston, TX, by sister Cherie Fancher of Aurora, CO, and by sister Cathy Trevena of Rifle, CO. Dee is also survived by granddaughter Kaela Kaminiski of Emmett, ID, by grandson Micheal Kaminski of Bartlett, TN, and by granddaughter Briauna Anstine of Rexburg, Idaho.
Celebration of life will be held at a later date.