Service planned Saturday for Lake Stevens Marine

LAKE STEVENS — The funeral service for a U.S. Marine who was killed Sunday while on deployment to Africa is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Elim Lutheran Church, 11504 26th St. NE, Lake Stevens.

Dustin Lee Canham, 21, a 2004 graduate of Lake Stevens High School, was killed in what the Defense Department described as “a nonhostile incident” in the eastern Africa nation of Djibouti.

Military officials would not explain the circumstances of his death. They said the incident is under investigation.

He had been assigned to a reserve Marine unit, the 6th Engineer Support Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group, based in Portland, Ore.

The Marines on Thursday said Canham joined the Marine Reserves in 2004. His unit was activated in December and it deployed earlier this month to Africa in support of the war in Afghanistan.

U.S. troops have long been assigned to unstable countries in eastern Africa to combat the buildup of terrorist cells and to do humanitarian work.

Canham was a bulk fuel specialist. His unit was providing security for other troops, said Capt. Erin Wiener, spokeswoman for Marine Reserves in New Orleans.

Canham grew up in Lake Stevens and lived there with his wife of five months, Devyn. He also leaves behind his father, Mark Canham; brother, Mitch Canham; and half-brother, John Kendall, 24.

The Marine is the 17th military person with a connection to Snohomish or Island counties to die during the last five years of war. Three of the dead graduated from or attended Lake Stevens High School.

Mitch Canham, 23, was a baseball star for Lake Stevens High School and attracted scouts when he helped Oregon State University go to successive College World Series competitions. He was drafted this year by the San Diego Padres.

Dustin Canham was a paintball enthusiast who for several months in 2006 managed a paintball operation in Lake Stevens. Before his military call-up, he became an apprentice electrician to help put his wife through school at the University of Washington, where she studies chemical engineering.

Reporter Jim Haley: 425-339-3447 or

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