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Bellville Times
Denise Dees Weissmann, born April 20, 1955 in Beaumont died at Methodist
Hospital in Houston on July 13, 2004. She passed away of a brain aneurysm,
but had long struggled with Multiple Sclerosis. No person could have lived
more vitally with such a difficult disease. Her courage, strength, and faith
served as an example to every person she touched. She will be greatly
Denise's life recalled Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ
who strengthens me". It was her favorite Bible verse, and it defined her
life. She was born and grew up in Beaumont and graduated from South Park
High School. She received a  bachelor's degree from Lamar University and a
master's degree in Special Education at the University of Houston at Clear
lake. Though her illness kept her from continuing her teaching career, her
life was filled with volunteer work that drew on her intelligence, spiritual
compassion, and amazing "can do" energy.
She attended Roberts Avenue United Methodist Church in Beaumont, and was
also inspired by the legacy of her grandmother, Hallie Morton. Denise served
her God and community with untiring commitment wherever she lived. She spent
her adult life in Clear lake, Kenney and Bellville. She was an active member
of the Bellville United Methodist Church and an inspiration to all those who
worshipped with her. She taught a fifth grade Sunday school class there for
several years.
She was a charter member of the Disciples Sunday School Class, and a
faithful student of the Christian Bible Study Class. She was involved in
Vacation Bible School, United Methodist Youth Fellowship, the UM Army, Big
Dawgs, and Big House. She was also a participant in a multi-denominational
Christian retreat and community called the Walk to Emmaus. Many friendships
were forged in these groups. She actively lived and shared her faith.
When she couldn't participate physically, she could be counted on for
spiritual support. She spent many hours in intercessory prayer and was
instrumental in keeping many prayer chains up-to-date with prayer needs and
requests. She had numerous prayer partners and fortunate, indeed, were those
who were blessed by this ministry.
Denise was a loving mother to her son Frank and a surrogate mother to an
ever expanding group of his friends from high school, Sam Houston State
University, and his Marine unit. She was cherished by Frank's fraternity
brothers of the Sigma Nu Chapter at Sam Houston State University and her
brother Carey Dees' fraternity brothers in the Sigma Nu Chapter from Lamar
She had a unique ability to listen, share, advise, and direct young people
to make effective choices with their lives. She was a founding and
influential member of M.O.B. (Mothers of the Band) for Bellville High School
where she wrote newspaper articles and sponsored band activities and
numerous planning meetings at her home for the band moms. Her mudslides were
famous, and lots of laughs and good times were shared because she brought
her sense of fun to all things she touched.
Through her contacts with the M.S. Society, she supported many fund-raising
events including the MS 150 Bike Ride that goes through Bellville every
year. As the riders raced by, she held a sign that read, "Thank you for
helping me." She attended "Camp Can Do" in the summer of 2003, where she was
able to ride a horse, drop from a ropes course, and swim. She was the hit of
the costume party there, when she arrived complete with helmet and flags in
her desert-camouflaged "tank" fashioned of cardboard placed over her
scooter, parading past the other participants with her military salute. She
made many new friends with MS volunteers and with the executives of Valero
Energy who sponsored the camp, restoring freedom and joy to MS patients
whose lives have been physically restricted by the disease.
Denise opened her home for a Thursday night stamping group, making creative
cards to send to others of all kinds of occasions. She held a monthly book
club in her home. Designed for the disabled, her home was open and
accessible. It became a center for entertaining people. She was a marvelous
cook and an amazing gardener. She took great pride in her flowers and
vegetables. Little gardens of Eden blossomed around her front and back
porches with the help of a very loyal friend and employee who helped her
tend the yard.
Denise was a magnet. She was so happy when her mother, Lanora Morton Dees
Lydic and her "Dad" David Lydic moved from Beaumont next door to her in
Bellville and built their dream home nestled behind sheltering pines and
alongside their spirited daughter. Their homes have become a gathering place
for their extended family, Denise's friends, Frank's friends, and her
community, all connected by the glue of Denise's life. We are grateful for
how she shared her heart and home with us all. Her doors were always open to
others in joy and in sorrow.
Before Frank left for training and his future deployment to Iraq, she
planned a going away party for him. Her house was decorated with flags,
Marine insignias, and yellow ribbons. Here she met the mothers of other men
in his unit and organized a system for sending care packages to our soldiers
and school supplies to Iraqi children.
Despite pain and years of tireless struggle, numerous doctors' appointments,
physical therapy and hospitalizations, and the tragic deaths of so many of
her loved ones, Denise seldom complained. It seemed she always had a smile
to share and a funny story about her physical inadequacies. It was sometimes
hard to distinguish who was the patient and who was the caregiver. The faces
of her doctors, nurses, and therapists would light up when she rolled into
their offices. Their kind service to Denise will not be forgotten.
Denise's family  would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Christophe Gay
and Dr. Victor Rivera whose expertise and love for her and her family have
been exemplary. 
Preceding her in death were her husband, Frank Weissmann; her father, Lee C.
Dees, her brother, Carey Dees; and her grandparents, Hallie and Bobby Morton
and Thelma and Lloyd Dees.
Denise is survived by her son, Frank A. Weissmann; her mother, Lanora Dees
Lydic; and her stepfather, David E. Lydic. She is also survived by her
sisters-in-law, Karen Dees and Renate Schroer; and step-siblings, David L.
Lydic and Susan Lydic; Carol Gay and Ron Laing; and Paul and Edna Lydic. She
is survived by many nephews and nieces and by innumerable close friends.
Viewing was Wednesday July 14, 2004 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Schmidt Funeral
Home, Bellville. Services were Thursday July 15, 2004 at 11 a.m. at the
Bellville United Methodist Church. Pallbearers in service were Steve
Chapman, Rick Grell, Steve Honeycutt, Mike Jones, Gary Kerbow, David L.
Lydic, Paul Lydic, and Eric Smith. The Rev. Wayne Middleton of the Bellville
United Methodist Church officiated the service. Interment was at St. James
Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in Kenney.
Memorials may be made to the church of your choice or to the Multiple
Sclerosis Society. Memorials may be given to The Friends of Lifeline, 728
East O'Bryant, Bellville. A favorite organization of Denise's, the Friends
of Lifeline purchase emergency call units for the disabled and the elderly
in Bellville.
Clara Denise Dees Weissmann's life was a gift to us all. As a young woman,
she once dreamed of making the track team. She didn't make that team, but
she ran her life with a clear and influential dignity described in 1st
Corinthians 9:26, "I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step."
She lived and loved, made strong by her faith in God. She has now gone home
and will be greeted with, "Well done good and faithful servant."

Posted by Joy Neely


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