Dorothy ‘Bunny’ Zausch


Dorothy “Bunny” Zausch of Port Washington was determined to reach her 90th birthday, just as her two sisters did.

So last week, her family held a cookout, complete with her favorite foods, her signature cheesecake and favorite drink, a brandy old fashioned.

And at that time, they inaugurated her into what she and her sisters called the 90 Club.

“She wanted to join the 90 Club, so we grandfathered her in,” her daughter Diane Reinthaler said, since Mrs. Zausch would not turn 90 until August.

It was just in time. Mrs. Zausch died at Lawlis Family Hospice in Mequon on Sunday, June 16, of complications from a stroke. She was 89.

Mrs. Zausch was a native of Port Washington, born on Aug. 14, 1929, to Fred and Theresa Meyer Hoppe.

She grew up on the family farm in the Town of Grafton just south of Port Washington, attending St. Mary’s School and graduating from Port Washington High School.

Although the family thought she got her nickname because her maiden name was Hoppe, her daughter said they recently learned it was because her grandfather always called her “honey bunny boo,” a name her sister Betty Ann picked up on.

She married Robert Zausch at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Port Washington on Sept. 11, 1954.

The couple bought a piece of her family’s farm and built their home on East Sauk Drive in the Town of Grafton.

Mrs. Zausch stayed home to raise her children until they were older, then went to work as a teller at Associated Bank and a clerk at the former Plush Pony store in Port Washington.

“She was a hard worker,” her daughter said. “She got that from her father and she instilled that in us and in her grandkids.”

She was committed to the community as well, serving as a poll worker during many elections.

A lifelong member of St. Mary’s Church, she was active in the Christian Mothers and was an active volunteer for funeral fellowship times.

She was an accomplished seamstress who made many of her daughter’s clothes, she was also known for her kitchen skills.

“She was a good cook and she made great desserts,” her daughter said. Among the favorite desserts she made was Lincoln Logs — cake filled with whipped cream and strawberries and then rolled — lemon meringue pie, poppyseed torte and cheesecake.

She enjoyed the outdoors, watching birds, picking strawberries with her family and flower gardening, especially the geraniums she and her husband enjoyed.

She loved reading, particularly mysteries, and bowled in the Tuesday night league at Bley’s Recreation in downtown Port.

She enjoyed traveling both in the United States and beyond, taking three trips to Mexico and later to Punta Cana.

“She had a way about her with the Mexican people,” her daughter said. “Despite the language barrier, they connected with her.”

Above all, Mrs. Zausch enjoyed her family, attending her children’s and grandchildren’s many activities, and she was anticipating the birth of her newest great-grandchild in the coming weeks.    

She also loved dogs, and although she didn’t have one in recent years, she looked forward to visits from her children’s pets.

“The minute those dogs came into the room, she lit up,” her daughter said.

Mrs. Zausch was also an avid fan of the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Badgers and Milwaukee Bucks.

“Dad liked baseball, but mom liked basketball,” her daughter said.

In recent years, Mrs. Zausch moved to a condominium in Saukville, where she served as the unofficial Neighborhood Watch lady, her daughter said.     

“She was always smiling,” her daughter said.

Mrs. Zausch is survived by her children Diane (Rick) Reinthaler of Port Washington, Tom (Tina) of Grafton, Peggy Zausch of Port Washington and John (Janet) of the Town of Saukville; grandchildren Christopher (Karen Martindale) Zausch, Angela (Rich) Horner, Josh (Melissa) Zausch, Jason (Allison Siemens) Zausch and Jared Zausch; and two step-great grandchildren.  

She is further survived by her sisters Betty Ann Last and Ethelyn “Tudy” Schumacher, both of Port Washington, and sisters-in-law Barb (Stan) Janeshek and Marge (Rick) Bichler.

She was preceded in death by her husband Bob on Dec. 29, 2008, a daughter Donna Mae, and brothers-in-law Harold Last and Alfred Schumacher.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 25, at St. John XXIII Parish, St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Port Washington. Father Patrick Wendt will officiate.

Visitation will be at the church Tuesday from 4 p.m. until the service.

Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Port Washington.

In lieu of flowers, memorials  are suggested.

Funeral arrangements are being handled through Poole Funeral Home and Crematory, Port Washington.



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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

125 E. Main St.
Port Washington, WI 53074
(262) 284-3494


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