Dean Marvin Vieselmeyer went to be with Jesus on Friday, October 13, 2023, as he slept peacefully. He was born in York, NE on September 11, 1948, to Erna Anna (nee’ Degner) and Marwin W. Vieselmeyer and grew up in Davenport, NE alongside his brother Lee. He attended Concordia High School, Seward, NE as a boarding student and graduated in 1967, earned a Bachelor in Education from Concordia College in Seward, Nebraska in 1970, a Master’s of Divinity from Concordia Theological Seminary in Springfield, Illinois in 1970, a Master’s Degree in Human Development and the Family in 1982, and a Ph.D. in Education-Administration and Curriculum/Instruction in 1989, both from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Dean’s professional ministry spanned 45 years of service in Lutheran education. From 1974 until 1977 he served as an instructor in religion, coached football, wrestling, and track, and supervised the strength and conditioning program at Milwaukee Lutheran High School. From 1977 to 1985 he served at Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska, as Director of Student Life, Assistant Professor of Theology, Assistant Football Coach, and the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator. In 1985 Dean accepted God’s call to Concordia University Irvine as Professor of Theology, Dean of Students, and Vice President of Student Services, and in 2001 transitioned to Executive Vice President for Community and Church Relations. In 2008 Dean agreed to help launch the online Master’s in Coaching and Athletic Administration program where he taught and mentored coaches and leaders until he retired from full-time service in 2019. Dean continued to teach and mentor as the lead instructor for MCAA 530 Ethics in Sport which he designed and taught since 2004. As Dean's two boys were going up in Tustin, he coached Junior All-American Football, NJB Basketball, Little League, and Pony Baseball. From 1992 to 2022 Dean brought his energy and passion to the Orange Lutheran High School Lancer football team as Assistant Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator, and Leadership Coordinator.
Dean met his wife, Dian, at Concordia High School in 1965-66 when he was a senior, and although he had identified the love of his life, she was not so convinced. Dean persisted, Dian gave in, and they began his life’s journey and amazing ministry together on August 15, 1970. Dian describes their life as hanging on tight to a speeding train with never a dull moment and always another goal to achieve. God used Dean’s faith and boundless energy, passion, and commitment to build and nurture programs, services, teams, teachers, coaches, athletes, coworkers, family, and friends into thriving and vibrant contributions to His Kingdom. Everything was possible because he saw the best in everyone, believed in their potential, and made it his goal to prepare them for leadership.
Everyone has a story about Dean and there are some pretty famous “Deanisms”. His smile was infectious, he could sell dirt, and he often employed “the meeting before the meeting” to get what he needed for the students. He was the ultimate host and the Vieselmeyers were known for the annual freshman dinners, inviting student leaders, football players, graduates, master’s students, and the entire student services staff into their home to enjoy a dinner – usually with cheesy potatoes and ice cream dessert. He loved people – they were his audience! He used the gift of exaggeration liberally and captured us with his smile, zest for life, joyful exuberance, and positive attitude.
God blessed Dean and Dian with two sons, Brent and Brad, and a loving extended family. Dean is survived by his wife, Dian; sons Brent (Marnie) of Falls Church, VA and Brad (Dana) of Bakersfield, CA; granddaughters Payton (16) and Quinn (13) of Falls Church, VA; and grandsons Garin (14) and Owen (12) of Bakersfield, CA; his brother Lee (Judy) Vieselmeyer of Lincoln, NE; sisters-in-law Cheri (Maury) Johnson of Seward, NE; Karen (Scott) Kalkowski of Fort Worth, TX; brother-in-law Terry Brethouwer of Beatrice, NE; several nieces, nephews, cousins, and a host of close friends. Dean is preceded in death by his parents Marwin and Erna Vieselmeyer, sisters-in-law Carolyn Jane Lofing and Teresa Fay Brethouwer, and father and mother-in-law, Marvin and Helen Lofing.
God made Dean and broke the mold. His kindness and caring heart were in the thousands of emails and devotions he sent every day and the encouraging words he had for everyone. His dedication to the work God gave him was evident in his passion and commitment to doing everything to the best of his ability. His integrity was unquestionable. His love for his God and Savior was steadfast. He was known to ask students what their legacy would be. Dean’s life and legacy live on in the thousands of students, athletes, and friends who knew him and the family that will miss his tender touch, unconditional love, and happy smile.
In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established for the Master of Coaching and Athletic Administration program at Concordia University, and the Lancer Football program at Orange Lutheran High School. Dean worked tirelessly to grow these programs, building leaders that would positively impact the communities they serve.
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MCAA Donation: https://fundraise.givesmart.com/f/4fu6/n?vid=11l7z3
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Our family has received a seemingly endless stream of remembrances of Papa Vies, which we are so thankful to hear – moments of laughter, love and struggle through challenges, depictions of the impact he had on others, his choices to be positive and invest in those around him, the energy he brought to any situation, his faithfulness to his Lord and his neighbor. We would love for you to share those tributes and stories with all those who knew him at the link below that we might use his life as encouragement for all to love others as Christ loves us.
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