Dorothy Zehnder Dies at 101 Years Old

The matriarch and co-founder of Frankenmuths’s Bavarian Inn has died.

The organization announced Dorothy Zehnder passed away at her home in Frankenmuth on Sunday at the age of 101. Born December 1st, 1921 in Reese, Zehnder helped start the business with her husband William “Tiny” Zehnder in 1950 and led the business both behind the scenes and as the face of the Bavarian Inn for 85 years. She was inducted in to the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame in 2020.

Zehnder is survived by her brother, Ray Hecht, her two children, Bill and Roxie, as well as 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. this Friday at St. Lorenz Lutheran Church. The family will receive visitors at Cederberg Funeral Home of Frankenmuth from 1:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday and for an hour before the funeral service Friday beginning at 9:00 a.m. The funeral home will host a prayer service at 10:00 a.m. Friday before the funeral service.