Eric,along with his identical twin Derrick, were born August 18, 1965, in Waco, Texas. He attended schools in the Connally, Clear Creek, and Waco lndependent school districts, and graduated from Jefffferson Moore High School in May 1983. He enjoyed participating in athletics, playing Little League baseball, and football during his junior high and high school years. He was a member of the 1981 Jefffferson Moore Lions Bi-district championship team, playing defensive end.
He professed his love for Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior at an early age and was baptized May 25, 1976 at St. Paul AME Church under the pastoral leadership of Rev. James R. Anderson. ThThere he served as a youth usher. He loved praising God and listening to and singing along to gospel music. One of his most recent favorites was "Take Me to the King."
On January 19, 1991, he married Shirley Ann Markum ("Sam") and to this union two children were born: Matthew Eric and Symone Alysia.
At age 14, he and his brother convinced the manager of the Red Lobster restaurant in Nassau Bay, Texas to hire them as busboys, which began his long career in the food service industry. When the family returned to Waco, they were able to transfer to the Waco Red Lobster where he worked as busboy then cook until he transferred to the Dallas/ Fort Worth area. During his career he honed his culinary skills at several major restaurant chains. In his mind he was one of the best cooks around except for his "Big Mama." Upon his return to Waco he continued to work in food service until the complications of his diabetes forced him to retire.
The word "stranger" was not part of Eric's vocabulary. He would talk to anyone about anything! Sometimes to the skepticism of his family, much of his life for the past 10 years or more was a reflflection of Matthew 25:35-40:''...for l was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in..." (NKJV)
He was preceded in death by his grandparents: Elzie and Vera Ward; Jimmie Freeman; uncle, Nathaniel Ward; and granddaughter Athena Nivea Dever.
He leaves to cherish his memory: son and daughter-in-law, Matthew and Abby Dever; daughter, Symone Dever; grandchildren, Lily Nicole, Kash Matthew, and Selene Athena; parents, Barbara and Kenneth Henson; Wayman Dever, Jr., Billy Malone, brothers, Derrick, Brian (Carolyn), Kenan (Stephanie), and Dwayne; 6 nephews, 2 nieces, 5 uncles, 9 aunts, 1 great-aunt and great-uncle, and a host of cousins, and friends.
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