Home Community Blog Dustin Heuston 1932 – 2022 Obituary

Sandy, UT—Dustin Hull Heuston passed away at his Sandy home amidst the family he spent his life loving and serving on Father’s Day, June 19, 2022. He was born April 24, 1932 in Greenwich Village, New York, to Patricia and Harold Zell Heuston, later moving to Riverdale and then Garrison with his family. After graduating from the Mount Hermon School for Boys and Hamilton College, he served as an Air Intelligence Officer in the Navy, where his dear friend Chuck Turner introduced him to the Book of Mormon, one of the great loves of his life. He returned to earn an MA from Stanford University and a PhD from New York University in American Literature. He married the greatest love of his life, Nancy Moebus, on September 12, 1959 in their hometown of Garrison-on-Hudson, New York. The pair left almost immediately for Provo, Utah so Dusty could teach English and Book of Mormon at BYU, followed by appointments at Vassar, Pine Manor Junior College, and finally as headmaster of the Spence School for Girls in New York City.

The Heustons were the proud parents of six children: Kimberley Heuston Sorenson, the late Kary Heuston Monson, Kelley Heuston, Heather Heuston Rosett (Charles), the late Hilary Zell Heuston, and Edward Benjamin Hull Heuston (Heather). After seeing the difference a great school like Spence made in the lives of his children, Dusty’s already strong commitment to education intensified almost to the point of obsession. After offering the first independent school scholarships to students of color from the inner city, Dusty began to search for a more scalable solution. The first room-sized computers with paper tapes were just coming on the market. On September 1, 1976, Dusty founded WICAT (the World Institute for Computer-Assisted Teaching) in Orem, Utah.

During the years that followed, WICAT developed the first commercial computer using the Motorola 68000 chip, the first educational laser disc with federal funding, and opened the Waterford School, under his wife Nancy’s direction, as a lab school for the Institute’s educational software. His leadership in the field was recognized by SIIA, who honored him with their lifetime achievement award. In recent years, the Waterford Institute has become best known for UPSTART, their free and uniquely effective in-home school-readiness program, now available nation-wide.

Dusty was the first Waterford Original, known and loved for his untarnished sense of wonder, exuberant generosity, and love for Pepsi (later Sprite), new ideas, teaching, tennis, photography, golf, gadgets, and movies. His gift to himself for his fiftieth birthday was an airplane and lessons to fly it. As he would be the first to say, he has always backed passion.

He is survived by his beloved Nancy, four of his children, fifteen grandchildren, nine and ½ great-grandchildren, and students now numbering in the millions.

A viewing will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2022 in the Granite Chapel, 3100 East, 9400 South, Sandy, Utah at 10:00 am. Funeral to follow at 11:30 am.

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