February 20, 1936 - August 12, 2020


A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be 12 noon on Saturday, August 22, 2020 at St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville for Betty Ann Zollner, age 84, of Paynesville. Reverend Glenn Krystosek will officiate. Betty passed away August 12, 2020 at the Assumption Community in Cold Spring after a long battle with cancer. Entombment will take place in the St. Louis Parish Mausoleum in Paynesville. Visitation will be held after 11 a.m. on Saturday at the church. Masks will be required.

Betty was born February 20, 1936 in New Ulm, MN to Arnold and Marie (Micke) Freyholtz of Fairfax, MN. She was baptized and confirmed in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hector. She later converted to Catholicism. She graduated from Fairfax High School in 1954. She married Fred Zollner on May 10, 1955 at St. Andrews Catholic Church in Fairfax. In 1956, they moved to Wabasso where she often helped out at the Creamery with bookwork. They operated an Oak Grove Dairy Milk route, delivering to the local homes and businesses. Some affectionately called her the “Milk Lady”.

In 1964, she was instrumental in organizing the eye and ear screening of pre-school children. She was involved in the Redwood County Extension program and served on the Advisory Board. She also served as leader of a 4-H Club, of which her children were members. She also taught sewing to the girls in their group. She served on the District 640 School Board until moving to St. Martin in 1975. In St. Martin, they owned and operated Fred’s Bar until 1980.

Betty began working at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University in the Bookstore at first and then in the Registrar’s Office as Degree Auditor for both colleges. During this time, she took college courses, which included five weeks in London, England. She completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in 2001 which she felt was one of her biggest accomplishments. She retired in 2004 after 24 years at the colleges.

Betty was an active member of St. Louis Catholic Church in Paynesville where she was organist from 1996 -2009. She loved “Old Time” music, and frequented many dances and polka festivals in several states with her husband. She loved traveling, managing to visit Europe five times and taking Mystery Bus trips. Her bags were always packed and ready for another adventure. Other interests included sewing, knitting, reading, doing puzzles and in her early years bowling. She loved to decorate at Christmas. She also was an avid antique and Hallmark collector.

Due to health issues, she had to move from her home to 700 Stearns Place, but her spirit never wavered. She was so proud of all her children and grandchildren’s achievements

Betty is survived by her children Cindy (Doug) Kiehne of Tuscon, AZ, Jeff (Cindy) of St. Cloud, Greg (Angel) of Prior Lake, Mark (Gail) of Owatonna, Rick (Kristin) of Pipestone and Jason (Willow) of Naples, FL, 12 grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, sisters-in-law Ordella Freyholtz of Tripoli, IA, Bernice (Dan) Dietz and Rose Zollner of New Ulm, and Cleophas Grosam and Marian Zollner of Fairfax, and several nieces and nephews.

Preceding Betty in death were her parents, husband Fred (2011), sister Florentine “Tina” (Vincent) Olson and brothers Waldemar (Marilyn) and Kenneth Freyholtz, brothers-in-law Albin and Glen Zollner and mother and father-in-law Lucille and Joseph Zollner.