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Michael S. Cederberg

Published February 05,2021

Obituary's Biography:

Michael Scott Cederberg, 67, a resident of Chicago, Illinois, passed away January 29, 2021 at his home.  He was born July 3, 1953 at St. Therese Hospital in Waukegan, IL to Richard Sr. and Arlene (nee: Haffner) Cederberg.  Preceded in death by his parents Richard and Arlene Cederberg, Michael was raised in Grayslake, Illinois along with his surviving brother Richard Jr and sister Beth A. Jeffers of Grayslake.

Michael was a proud graduate of Concordia High School and Concordia Junior College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He received his BA degree in Education at Concordia University Seward, Nebraska in 1975.  Certified as a called “Minister of the Gospel”, Michael began his ministry at an inner-city parish in St. Louis, Missouri. A year later, he accepted a call to teach and coach at St. John’s Lutheran church in San Francisco, California.

In 1978, Michael moved to Chicago’s westside where he was employed by Bethel Lutheran School in West Garfield Park. There he taught multiple subjects and grades, coached sports, and became active in the church and as a board member of the non-profit housing and service organization, Bethel New Life.

While teaching and attending night school in late 1980s, Michael earned a Masters Degree in Counseling from Northeastern Illinois University. This paved the way for a career as a Chicago Public School elementary school counselor and a move of his residence to his beloved, diverse and “controversial” Uptown Community of Chicago.

Among others, he worked at Riis Elementary School, Webster, Blaine, Gale, and Arai (now Uplift College Prep, a “sustainable school”) in his home community of Uptown – just two blocks from his condo.

Michael relished the opportunity of career placements in “tough schools” on west, south and north sides of Chicago, where he could counsel and support inner city kids extra-curricular activities and academics.  As a counselor, he dealt with discipline issues, supported special education compliance, enabled team meetings of professional nurses, psychologists, and teachers in support of families.  But his passion was going beyond the norm with assistance to dozens of kids and families each year – counseling them in high school placement options, assisting families with applications and providing transition assistance to families that otherwise might be challenged by the complex system of high school enrollment.

In his early adulthood, Michael played softball on the lake, later joined a dart team and league, and throughout his life, associated himself with church-based basketball groups and volunteered as a referee.  Michael became, over time, an avid swimmer and bicyclist, and in 2020, amidst the pandemic, was routinely riding 30 miles a day.

Michael was a proud member of the Chicago Teacher’s Union, believed in social justice and community development; and, was active and in leadership roles in his home Lakeview Lutheran Church, where he was a long-time member. There, he brought his experience to bear in community services and affordable housing initiatives. Mike was a member of Northside Action for Justice, that fights for social, environmental, health and economic justice, as well as educational opportunities at his local Uplift High School — a place with friends and a swimming pool that he frequented.

Mike was beloved by many from his life’s journey.  Former students, co-workers, roommates and community volunteers became close and lifelong friends.  He was close with sister Beth and brother Rich, who with him, enjoyed escapes to a remote family home on the lake in Elcho, Wisconsin.

A MEMORIAL SERVICE will be held on February 20, 2021 at 1:00pm at St. Luke Church 1500 W. Belmont, in Chicago.  For details on how to reserve in-person or online streaming attendance, contact or visit Lakeview Lutheran Church for information to follow

For Live Streaming on Zoom here is the link.Join our Cloud HD Video Meeting

To register for in person at St Luke’s (space limited to 50) or watch gathering at LVLC (space Limited to 25) use this link



MICHAEL CEDERBERG MEMORIAL FUND donations may be made online at bit.ly/UptownYouth or by mail to Lake View Lutheran Church 835 W. Addison Chicago, IL 60613. The fund will look to support engagement of elementary school kids in the community of Uptown and performing arts, and in promotion of Uplift, a sustainable community high school. Donations are also encouraged for the American Heart Association 300 South Riverside Plaza Suite 1200 Chicago, IL 60606. Michael was interred at Highland Memorial Park Cemetery in Libertyville, IL. All funeral arrangements were entrusted to Strang Funeral Chapel & Crematorium, 410 E. Belvidere Rd. Grayslake, IL. For information, call 847-223-8122 or visitwww.strangfuneral.org

11 replies on “Michael S. Cederberg”

  1. I was shocked to hear the news about Mike. He was a good friend and colleague. He touched many lives in a positive way. May his memory be for a blessing.

  2. Mike modeled the role of a servant for Christ. His work history demonstrated his sacrifice to lead and help those less fortunate. I will miss his insights on Chicago pro sports teams and the friendship we developed being teammates in sports.

  3. As an opposing coach, father of a player he was coaching, a fellow referee and a fan of great conversation I had many wonderful times with Mike. It made my day when I walked into a gym and saw I was going to work with him or, at the very least, have a chance to meet with for a while.
    He will be missed but never forgotten.

  4. Mike was a good coach he was my kids and Neice’s and nephews teacher and and basketball coach. I will miss him dearly

  5. We knew Mike for 30+ years He was a gentle giant devoted to the CPS system as a teacher, coach, and counselor—he was faith-driven. He never had a negative word through his mission’s focuses no matter how challenging students or institutions were. His devotion to his students, who were from underserved and tough communities and home life, were shepherd by his wise leadership. Psalm 23

  6. Mr. Cederberg was one of the best educators I knew because he was honestly concerned not only about your education, he also cared about Family and the community.. I am so thankful to have had an opportunity to have known some one who was a Genuinely REAL down to earth person..(Riis School c/o95)
    R. I. H. Mr. Cederberg

  7. Mike Cederberg was part of the Bethel Lutheran School trio of middle grade teachers along with the late Irene Williamson and me. Mike was a dedicated servant to the children and families.
    My deepest condolences to his brother, sister, and all of his family.
    Good and faithful servant, well done.

  8. Sorry to hear of Mike passing. He was a counselor at Gale for many years. He was a good man with a good heart ♥️

  9. Mike loved to talk to me (and tease me!) about my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers after church. And, he often brought a different and important perspective to our Church Council meetings. He was a good soul with a kind heart. I will miss him.

  10. Mr. Cedeberg was a gentle giant! He was a great teacher and mentor and in my adult years became a friend. The impact he made on my life and several others from Bethel Christian School can NEVER be erased. Well done Mr. Cedeberg take your rest!

  11. Mr. Cederberg, that’s how my family addressed him as our children’s (CHAWN & CJ) phenomenal teacher at Bethel Christian School. He was loved by all the children. Mike became a friend over the years and celebrated many of our milestones. He even celebrated my family’s Winthrop Ave. neighborhood reunion in 2006’ just around the corner from where he lived. We just texted each other a couple of weeks ago he reminding me of his participation and me reminiscing of growing up in Uptown. The Lewis family will never forget Mike as a teacher, church member (Bethel Lutheran), colleague on Bethel New Life’s Board and friend. Rest In Peace good and faithful servant; job well done. We will miss you. 💕🙏🏾

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