Obituary

Dennis Ceder

Dennis Ceder

Dennis Ceder entered the presence of the Lord Jesus at 12:45 p.m. on Thursday, July 20th, 2017. He was ushered into heaven with his three beloved sons and his cherished wife of 43 years surrounding him. He was 64 years old, having arrived on earth on May 30th, 1953.

Dennis was the only child of his late father Rubert Ceder and his adored mother Lillie Ceder.

He is survived by the love of his life Teresa and the sons that were sacred to him, Keith (42), Anthony (40) and Carl (36). Dennis was a proud grandfather and his six grandchildren Sienna (11), Slade (9), Graham (8), Corrie (5), Benjamin (4), and Hudson (3) deeply loved their "Papa." Dennis was also extremely fond of his daughters-in-law, Denise and Jennifer.

The best way to describe the essence of Dennis would be to describe the things he loved best.

Chronologically speaking, the first love affair Dennis experienced in life was with barbells. Anyone who knew him knew he was passionate about weight training. Dennis was not born with tremendous athletic talent but he had a dream to play football in junior high. His small size kept him from making the team at Pearce Junior High and that setback would stay with him all his life. Even though it was a painful experience for him, it helped shape him into the humble, gentle, inspired man that he was. When Dennis was reeling over being cut from the team, he stumbled across a weight training magazine at the grocery store and promptly purchased it. A light bulb went off in his head as he pondered what might help him transform himself into a Reagan Raider football player. When Dennis got to Reagan, his lifelong mentor and friend Wally Freytag gave him a uniform and that opportunity changed his life and led Dennis into the next love affair in the chronology of his life.

When Dennis entered high school, he became immensely passionate about football. Through weight training and hard work Dennis was not only able to play football in high school, he was an integral ingredient to the 1970 Class 4A State Championship Reagan Raiders, a team that would also be voted National Champs by the Associated Press. Dennis wore number 60 and was known for his intensity, devotion and physical play. He was affectionately referred to by his teammates as "Wahoo."

Dennis went on to spend the majority of his professional career teaching and coaching at his alma mater. He was the Head Coach at Reagan from 1989-1992 compiling a 30-12-1 record. He also coached at Lanier High School and led the Vikings as Head Coach in 2004 and 2005. The Vikings enjoyed two successful playoff seasons before Dennis retired from coaching for good. As a coach, Dennis inspired his players, as he excelled in the art of motivation. He always wanted to be the strongest team on the field and weight training was a huge part of how he impacted his teams. However, the main ingredient behind the coaching of Dennis Ceder was the love he had for those who played for him. Dennis believed in weight training, but he often said the "heart is the biggest muscle of all."

When Dennis was in college, through a chance encounter he met his epic wife. Dennis met Teresa when he was 18 and she was 16. They were married the year after Teresa graduated high school and their love story is truly one for the ages. Teresa was his best friend, his loyal companion, his biggest fan, his constant encouragement, his sacrificial servant, and the faithful mother of his most prized possessions. Teresa was the ideal wife of a coach. Dennis respected her, was proud of her, frequently apologized to her, and greatly esteemed the "wife of his youth." They loved traveling, being parents, grandparents, and had fun doing just about anything together. Dennis and Teresa took up dancing later in life and they loved their new found hobby, as it brought them much joy. The last two years of his life, Teresa tirelessly fought his cancer right by his side. Some of his last mutterings were these affectionate words as he gazed into the eyes of his precious wife, "to the end." All who know Dennis and Teresa will agree their marriage was truly what God intended when he thought up and designed the institution of holy matrimony.

When Dennis became a father in 1974, he devoted himself entirely to being the best dad he could be. Keith, Anthony, and Carl were the treasures of his life and always got the best of him. When he was a coach there was never a "do not disturb" sign on the door. He invested the prime hours of every day being a dad. He loved his sons unconditionally, sacrificially, and enjoyed their presence during every single one of their encounters. Dennis simply mastered fatherhood. His boys would all agree their father was their hero, pastor, best friend, biggest influence, role model and biggest supporter. All three boys could not have loved their dad more.

Finally, Dennis would want it made clear there was one love in his life that was in a category all by itself. Dennis Ceder loved the Lord Jesus with his entire being and that love alone truly made him the profound influence he was to many. Dennis collided with the love of Christ shortly after he met Teresa. He was 19 years old and suffering from the effects of a torn MCL injury he sustained while playing college football. When Dennis met Jesus he was transformed and his intense nature was bridled and blended with a humble, gentle, kind and tender way that would be beautifully woven into his nature for the rest of his life. His last hours were spent telling those closest to him how much he loved them and exhorting them to trust in the Jesus he deeply loved. Some of his last words were "I love you Jesus" and he said this phrase over and over as he was preparing to exit this world and arrive at his eternal home. It simply could not be escaped on anyone that knew Dennis that his profound love for Jesus was truly what defined him. Dennis and Teresa have followed Jesus since their days of dating and have never looked back. Both would tell you that Jesus has made all the difference in all they have accomplished. Simply stated, Dennis loved Jesus more than anything else in this world. If you ever encountered the love of Dennis, he would want you to know it was given to him by his beloved Jesus.

Dennis was diagnosed with cancer in the late spring of 2015 and fought it with integrity and dignity for over two years. Throughout his fight, his wife and sons, friends and extended family were by his side. His love for Jesus never wavered during this time and his family is thankful he is now with the Jesus whom he so deeply loved. He will be missed by many, but those who trust in Christ will most certainly see him again.

There will be a visitation at Cook-Walden Funeral Home 6100 N. Lamar Blvd. on Monday, July 24th, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The funeral service will be held at Gethsemane Lutheran Church 200 W. Anderson Ln. 78752 in Austin on Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 at 2 p.m., with the interment to follow at the Decker United Methodist Cemetery, Austin Texas.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the church pastored by his son, Anthony Ceder, Matthews Memorial Presbyterian Church (Missions Fund) in Albany, Texas P.O. Box 2345, Albany, Texas 76430).

Condolences may be left for the family at www.cookwaldenfuneralhome.com.

Go Back