Official Obituary of

Dorothy L. (Wissler) Zehr

February 10, 2024 (age 84) 84 Years Old

Dorothy Zehr Obituary

Dorothy Leora (Wissler) Zehr died peacefully in Goshen, Indiana on February 10, 2024 at the age of 84.

Dorothy is remembered and celebrated by her husband, Milton J. Zehr, children and their families: Kirkwood and Kristin Shank Zehr (Adrian, Micah), Lucinda and Eric Zehr White (Lydia, Evelyn), Adam Zehr, Yolanda and David Zehr Omes, and Marcus and Robin Ebright Zehr (Aidan, Holden, Graham). She was well loved by her extended family: siblings Doris (Manuel) Balikian (deceased), Darlene (Ron) Reighard, Dawn (Herb, deceased) VanHorn, Doretta (John, deceased) Cohran, J. C. Delbert (Doris) Wissler, Roy Darwin Wissler (deceased), and C. Dwight (Gayle) Wissler, as well as many, many in-laws, nieces and nephews. 

Dorothy was born in 1939 in Rothsville, PA, the eldest of eight children of Roy H. and Martha (Byer) Wissler. She graduated from Lancaster Mennonite School in 1957 and Eastern Mennonite College in 1966 with a degree in Biblical studies. After college, she served as Dean of Girls at Eastern Mennonite High School and Resident Director at Eastern Mennonite College. In 1968, Dorothy and Milton married, and in 1969 they moved to Lowville, NY, where Milton began his pastorate at Lowville Mennonite Church. 

Dorothy served as a partner in ministry with Milton at Lowville Mennonite Church for 22 years and then with New York Mennonite Conference until retirement. Later in life, she became a credentialed spiritual director. 

Dorothy had a deep love for the Lord, and put that love into action throughout her life. She welcomed into her home adopted children, foster children, international students and immigrants, and many seeking a safe place to land. She was sensitive to the needs of others and responded with love and encouragement when needed most. She offered a listening ear, prayer, counsel, and practical help. Many considered Dorothy to be a mentor, inspiration, and personal friend.

Dorothy took great joy in her children and grandchildren. She would drop everything to spend time with them when they visited and traveled to wherever they lived to be part of special events and everyday life as much as she could. She was interested in all of their activities, hobbies, hopes, and dreams.

Dorothy was a spiritual leader at a time when few women had a formal role in the church. At Lowville Mennonite Church, she supported ministry behind the scenes with administrative support, private counseling, and participation in church planning. She initiated and edited the Reflector publication for over 40 years and helped start and lead many worship experiences such as New Year’s watch night services, prayer meetings, Bible studies, and congregational enrichment. When Milton served as conference minister for New York Mennonite Conference, Dorothy accompanied his visits to pastors and congregations around the state, supporting and encouraging leaders and their families.

Dorothy had a zest for life, and always immersed herself fully in her world. Growing up in Lititz, PA, she loved working with her papa at his car dealership and was an expert in the cars of the 50s and 60s. When she moved to Lewis County, she learned how to garden, can vegetables, bake, and pluck chickens. She drove the tractor in the family sugar bush and marketed maple syrup on the East Coast. At their farmette in Martinsburg, she enjoyed operating the Alger Place Bed and Breakfast. She and Milton traveled to Costa Rica, Vietnam, India, Switzerland, and Egypt.

Dorothy was a very special person whose love for her family, friends, and community was limitless. She will be remembered for her warm hugs, huge heart, and genuine care. Her legacy of love and transformation will ripple through many lives for generations. 

The family would like to thank the staff of Waterford Crossing in Goshen, Indiana for their heartfelt care.

Services are scheduled for Saturday, May 18, 2024.  After interment at Croghan Mennonite Cemetery, open visitation at Lowville Mennonite Church will start at 1:30 p.m., with a memorial service at 2:30 p.m., followed by a meal.  All are welcome to attend and celebrate Dorothy's life.  Donations in Dorothy’s honor can be made to Mennonite Central Committee at

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May 18, 2024

1:30 PM to 2:30 PM
Lowville Mennonite Church
Ridge Road
Lowville, NY 13367
Guaranteed delivery before the Visitation begins

Memorial Service
May 18, 2024

2:30 PM
Lowville Mennonite Church
Ridge Road
Lowville, NY 13367
Guaranteed delivery before the Memorial Service begins


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