Dustin Lee

Nov. 18, 1985-April 6, 2021

Dustin Michael Lee of

North Liberty, Iowa, form-

erly of Burlington, North

Dakota passed away unex-

pectedly but peacefully in

his sleep on April 6, 2021

at the young age of 35.

Dustin’s family held a

private time to say good-

bye, surrounded by the

love and support of each

other. Honoring his

wishes, cremation has tak-

en place and there will be

no formal services. In lieu

of flowers, memorial do-

nations can be made to a

GoFundMe campaign that

has been set up for Erin

and Zane



Dustin was born No-

vember 18, 1985 in Minot,

North Dakota to Robert

and Kathy (Trondson)

Lee. He was raised in Bur-

lington and graduated

from Des Lacs Burlington

High School. After high

school, he began working

at a few local restaurants,

where he was loved by all

customers for his fun, lov-

ing and outgoing per-

sonality. He eventually

went on and furthered his

education at Minot State

University, where he

earned his bachelor’s de-

gree in sociology and

psychology in 2015.

While Dustin worked

towards his academic

goals, he met the love of

his life, Erin James, and

became a devoted and

loving father to their son

Zane. The family of three

moved to North Liberty,

Iowa after Dustin was ac-

cepted into graduate

school at The University

of Iowa. He was on his

way to earning his PhD in

Sociology at the Universi-ty of Iowa at the time of

his death. Dustin was

known in the department

for his humor and kind-

ness, and he was a devot-

ed Teaching Assistant to

undergraduate students.

A man amongst men,

Dustin was someone who

could talk to anyone in

any situation and knew to

not expect anything less,

even as a child. Without

any preparation, he could

give a speech to any

crowd of any size and it

would be exemplary, such

as his father’s eulogy

when he was thirteen

years old. He passed these

traits on to Zane, along

with the many other great

qualities he was loved for.

He was a wonderful writ-

er and a lifelong reader

and learner, hoping to be-

come a college professor

after graduate school.

Dustin loved nothing

more than his family and

even after living miles

away, he continued to let

his love for them be

known. Life only got

better when he became a

father as he and Zane did

everything together, such

as play video games, even

though mom may not

have been all for them.

Aside from spending time

with family, he enjoyed

reading, playing golf, and

watching anime with his


He is survived by: his

significant other Erin

James of 13 years, and

their 11-year-old son Zane

Lee, both of North Liberty,

IA; his mother Kathy Lee

of Burlington, ND; two

sisters Tonya

Ratcliffe-Allen of And-

over, KS, and Patricia

(Matt) Wilkerson of Lafay-

ette, IN; uncles Willie

“Rudy” Trondson

(Dawn-Anne) and Dr.

Troy Trondson, as well as

his aunt Tammy (Mike)

Steinberger, and many ex-

tended family members.

He was preceded in

death by: his father,

Robert E. Lee; paternal

grandparents Sal and Pau-

line “Pinky” Lee and

maternal grandparents

Willie and Rosie Trond-


Online condolences and

memories of Dustin may

be shared with his family