Posts Tagged ‘Dorothy Zehnder’

Why Retire? Talking With Some Who Work Past 80

Monday, February 20th, 2012 by Troy Schrock

As a young boy, I distinctly remember hearing my older relatives and their friends complain about their work. This was particularly noticeable on Sunday evenings as they contemplated getting back into the grind of another week. It always perplexed me to hear them talk that way. “Why would anybody continue to do something they don’t enjoy?” I wondered. Why not do something you do enjoy? And if you enjoy it, why stop?

These questions developed a passion for what I call lifetime effectiveness: engaging in productive work throughout one’s lifetime. I believe there is honor in work and that God has created us to work and be productive in His creation. This ideal runs contrary to the modern goal of retirement, a historically new idea that, in my opinion, deserves to be challenged.

Not everyone has bought into the notion of retirement. I decided to look for people who have chosen to remain engaged in their vocations beyond the age of 80. It didn’t take me long to find four of them. These people don’t have to work; they choose to work simply because they like being engaged. They essentially ask the same question I’ve asked for a long time: why not do something you enjoy, and if you enjoy it, why stop?

Read the edited interviews with these exceptional people – Bernie Moray, Dorothy Zehnder, Jack Kirksey, and George Roumell, in my recently published article in The CEO Advantage Journal.


Happy 90th Birthday, Dorothy Zehnder!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 by Troy Schrock

How would you feel if you knew today that you would still be working at 90?  If Dorothy Zehnder is your model, it should excite you.

In 1950, Dorothy and her husband (along with her husband’s family) bought a small hotel in Frankenmuth, Michigan.  Sixty-one years later, their Bavarian Inn is the cornerstone of Michigan’s “Little Bavaria,” one of Michigan’s most popular family attractions.

Dorothy turns 90 today.  She still runs the kitchen, still uses many of her original recipes, and still works six days per week.  Her motto is: “if you don’t feel well, go to work and pretty soon you’ll feel better.”

Speaking with Paul W. Smith on Detroit’s WJR-AM this morning, Dorothy described her ten-hour days as “fun.”  She had a similar theme when we interviewed her for upcoming edition of The CEO Advantage Journal.  “I like to cook,” she told us.  “It’s satisfying to make a good product and get it on the market.  I like the fact that people enjoy my recipes.  Retirement never crossed my mind.  I love what I’m doing.  I would rather [stay] right here visiting with people and making recipes that thousands ask for.”

She’s right.  Productive work is fun!  Take a moment today to step back from the daily grind of your operations.  Look away from your financial numbers.  Lay aside your worries about future customer orders.  Just think about the purpose of your business.  Who do you serve?  How do you improve the life of your customers?  What is your role in that?  What do you enjoy most about it?

Isn’t business fun?  Why would you not want to work at 90?!

Thanks for your example, Dorothy.  Happy 90th birthday and best wishes for continued success.