Story Magazine - First Quarter, 2005

David Tiede: Family Man

Christmas with the grandchildren, 2003

I try not to brag too much, but I do tell people I married well.

I hope the kind of church my grandchildren will have will be a lively place where there is a sense of joy for life and hope for everlasting life is deeply nurtured and confident. My granddaughter Mary Clare is already modeling herself after her pastor mother. One day she was preaching to her stuffed animals. Her mother asked, "Mary Clare, what are you saying?" Her daughter replied, "Some times I don't know what I'm talking about, but I keep preaching and preaching." It's that kind of exuberant spirit and creativity that I hope will be nurtured, welcomed and prospered.
 
- David Tiede

I remember one sermon where he talked about Mary Clare, his granddaughter. The theme of it was marching in the light of God, and he talked about Mary Clare singing this song to her grandmother to cheer her up after her father had died. Then she made Muffy and David get up and twirl with her. He twirled around in the pulpit to show us. It was so adorable. It was a side of him that is so charming, and that's not the right word because it was a deeper moment. Mary Clare pushed him in a place where he wouldn't normally go, and it thrilled him.

- Sarah Henrich, associate professor of New Testament

Dad really enjoys the grandfather role. He always says that when he retires, one of his priorities is spending time with his six grandchildren. They call him Boppa. There aren't too many people who can call him that. He gets right down on the floor and rolls around with them. He is very affectionate with the kids. He and my mom have set up their cottage in Pine City as a place for the grandchildren. Over the door hangs a sign that says "Welcome to Mine Cabin" because that is what one of their grandchildren calls it. He is delighted by that. He wants the kids to feel that it is their cabin.

- Peter Tiede, son, attorney

One of the things that he and I used to do together is go canoeing. His idea of how to go canoeing is to sit in the canoe and fish.We tended to go down a river because I could paddle from the stern and he could fish from the bow, and we would both have a great time.We took a trip to the BWCA together one time, and I was obsessive about getting up early to paddle and see as many lakes as possible. He wanted to sleep late and then go fishing. He puts in long hours working but also has an amazing gift for recreation. My brother Peter takes him hunting and fishing.

My dad is a tinkerer. He can fix anything--plumbing, electrical work, roofing. The man can build and fix anything. He has remodeled houses and helped build buildings. That has often been a healthy break for him from his professional life.

He loves to take the grandchildren fishing. When my son John was two years old, Dad took him out fishing and John caught his first fish. He has been part of helping many of the grandchildren catch their first fish. The kids get all excited about driving the pontoon boat. His babysitting method is very sweet. Once when he was babysitting, he snuggled the baby up in his arms in this wonderful embrace to watch the football game on TV, and then they both fall asleep. I came home and got a great picture of it. He is such a sweet man. He has a heart, an enormous heart full of love.

- Kathryn Tiede-Hottinger, daughter, ELCA pastor serving as rector of Saint Francis Episcopal Church of Greenville, S.C.