Cover photo for Peter Zender's Obituary
Peter Zender Profile Photo

Peter Zender

d. December 23, 2016

Peter George Zender, 80, of Rose Creek, Minnesota, died peacefully with family at his side, at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, on Friday, December 23, 2016. He was born June 24, 1936, in Austin, Minnesota, to George and Edith (Robinson) Zender. Peter grew up in Austin, attended St. Augustine’s Grade School and graduated from St. Augustine’s High School (Pacelli) in 1954. He served in the Army National Guard for several years. He met the love of his life, Dorothy Reinartz, while delivering food from his family’s business, Zender Wholesale, to the Reinartz Café in Rose Creek. Dorothy was playing pool, and Peter asked if he could join her. The couple married June 5, 1965. Peter attended Austin Junior College, completed his studies in Journalism in Iowa and owned the Adams Review newspaper in Adams, Minnesota, from 1961 until 1966. At that time, he was the youngest publisher and editor ever in the state of Minnesota. He then served as editor and publisher of the Onamia Independent and the Chaska Herald for a brief time. In 1967, Peter began his career at Hormel until he retired in 2001. During his retirement years, Peter drove school bus for Southland Schools and worked at Hy-Vee in Austin. You may remember his tie collection that included only photo ties of his two precious grandchildren who affectionately referred to him as “Papa Pete”. He and Dorothy enjoyed being Mr. and Mrs. Claus for the City of Austin for several years. When Dorothy’s mother passed away in 1966, Peter and Dorothy became the guardians of Dorothy’s sister, June, who had a developmental disability. They cared for her as their own until her death in 2003. Peter loved 50’s rock-n-roll music, fireworks, and absolutely everything about Christmas. He was able to celebrate Christmas this year with Jesus in heaven. Peter’s most precious time was that spent with his family. All who knew and loved him will miss him dearly. Peter is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years, Dorothy, their daughters, Jody (David) Allen of Maple Grove, Minnesota, and Jill Zender of Rose Creek, Minnesota; two grandchildren, Ben and Jordyn Allen; brother George (Nancy) Zender of Aitkin, Minnesota, and other relatives and wonderful friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; father-in-law Carl Reinartz; mother-in-law Harriet (Reetz) Reinartz; sister-in-law June Reinartz; and sister Barbara Jean Nemitz. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 31, 2016, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Rose Creek with Father Tom Loomis officiating. Interment will be at St. Peter’s Cemetery. Visitation will be at Mayer Funeral Home in Austin from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, December 30 with a prayer service at 7 p.m.; Their will also be a visitation at the church for one hour before the service on Saturday morning. Memorials preferred to the American Diabetes Association, Alzheimer’s Association, or St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Rose Creek. Mayer Funeral Home of Austin is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be left for the family at

Service Information


St. Peter's Cemetery

Rose Creek MN 55970


Friday, December 30 2016
4:00 AM - 7:00 AM

Mayer Funeral Home
600 2nd Street NW P.O. Box 27
Austin MN 55912


Saturday, December 31 2016
10:30 AM

Saint Peter Catholic Church
302 Maple St SW
Rose Creek MN 55970

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