Dorothy M. Backhaus

Dorothy M. Backhaus died peacefully at the age of 92 at the Beaver Dam Community Hospital with her daughter Kathy and her son Jarold and his wife Eileen by her side on April 6, 2017.

A memorial gathering for Dorothy will be held at the Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home, N7199 N. Crystal Lake Road, Beaver Dam on Monday, December 18th from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.  A memorial service will begin at 11:00 a.m. with the Rev. Joy Mortensen-Wiebe officiating.  Inurnment will be Oakwood Cemetery, Beaver Dam.

Dorothy was born September 17, 1924 to John and Ella (Warber) Kranz in Beaver Dam.  Dorothy grew up in Reeseville, WI.  She left home at the age of 13 to work for Bonner’s in Beaver Dam.

Dorothy met Orville Backhaus from Burnett.  Dorothy and Orville were married on November 20, 1941 at St. Stephen’s Ev. Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam by Rev. L. C. Kirst.  They had four children: Jarold (Eileen) of Beaver Dam, Tom (Gail) of Oconomowoc, Kathy (Mike) Zastrow of Mayville and Dennis (friend Theresa) of Surprise, AZ.  Dorothy and Orville provided a loving and caring home for their children; and they hold fond memories throughout the years, especially of the family home during the Christmas Season.

Dorothy and her husband raised their family in Beaver Dam, she worked for the Pizza Villa and then later for the Pyramid Supper Club for over 16 years.  She met and enjoyed meeting many people while working at the supper club.  Dorothy enjoyed making yeast rolls and coffee cakes, also making cookies and cut out cookies that were exceptional and the art work done on them was beautifully detailed.

When her husband retired, they moved to Glendale and then to Sun City, AZ.  There they made their home fixing and repairing with their talents.  Here is where Dorothy put her talents again to work making crafts along with her husband.  She finished the wood crafts Orville made.  Dorothy made plastic canvas croqueted afghans and doilies and many other crafts.

Dorothy moved back to Wisconsin in March of 2006 to be with her family after Orville’s passing on December 13, 2004.

Along with her children, Dorothy leaves behind six grandchildren: Corey, Annette, Scott, Adrienne, Angela and Ashley, several great grandchildren and nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents John and Ella Kranz, mother and father-in-law Martha and Edwin Backhaus, brothers: John (Evelyn) Kranz, Otto (Sybil “Callie”) Kranz, Carl (Doris) Kranz, John (Erna) Kranz and her sister Edna (Lewis) Maas and her brother-in-law Harold (Millie) Backhaus.

Dorothy’s family wishes to extend a heartfelt thank you to Kathy Bates and the staff of The Remembrance Home for the kindness and care given to her for the past several months and a special thank you to her friend Brenda.

The Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam is serving the family.  Online condolences may be made at