Dorothy Zehnder, 'heart and soul' of Frankemuth's Bavarian Inn, has died at 101

Dorothy Zehnder
Posted at 11:22 AM, Jul 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-10 11:22:44-04

(WXYZ) — Dorothy Zehnder, beloved Frankenmuth icon and Bavarian Inn matriarch, has died at 101.

According to a press release, Zehnder passed away at her home on July 9 with family by her side.

For more than 85 years, Zehnder worked throughout the Frankenmuth community.

“We mourn the passing of our beloved mother, grandmother, and family matriarch. We extend our thanks for the support from the Frankenmuth community and ask that you help us remember Dorothy for the amazing woman she was and who will remain in our hearts. Our family will continue to uphold the spirit of Dorothy and her legacy to this community," the family said in a statement.

Zehnder is also described as a "humble servant leader," sharing her talent with restaurants, tourism, governmental, religious and philanthropic organizations.

She is also a 2020 Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and recipient of the Saginaw Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, she wrote three sold-out cookbooks, “Cookies and Bars” published in 1986, “Come Cook with Me,” published in 2011, and the follow-up “From My Kitchen to Yours,” published in 2014.

The Frankemuth Bavarian Inn Restaurant posted after her passing that she "shall forever remain the heart and soul of the Bavarian Inn."

Her funeral services will be held at St. Lorenz Lutheran Church — and she will be buried at St. Lorenz Cemetery next to her husband.

Donations in her honor may be made to St. Lorenz Church or to Frankenmuth City Beautification.

Read more about Zehnder here.