Dorothea Gruenerwald (Haake) passed away peacefully on January 13, 2023 at her home in Colorado Springs.

She was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 20, 1923 where she grew up and went to school. In 1949 she graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science in Speech. Dorothea had many, many interests throughout her life which included flying and the love of music. Dorothea flew a plane solo in her pursuit of obtaining her pilots license but an eye problem kept her from her final test. In music, she studied and trained as a soprano and sang with the Lyric Opera while in Chicago.

In 1959 Dorothea married William Gruenerwald, her husband of fifty years. They lived together in Chicago for several years before moving to Colorado Springs in 1964. It was in Chicago where Dorothea and William attended a dog show and discovered Rottweilers. They were both very impressed with the breed and purchased and bred their first Rottweiler prior to moving to Colorado.

Rottweilers became a true passion for Dorothea. She bred several litters and started the Von Gruenerwald Kennels which she owned and operated for nearly 20 years in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Many Rottweiler champions came from the Von Gruenerwald bloodlines and many of her puppy buyers are still involved in the breed today thanks to Dorothea. Dorothea’s pursued her love of Rottweilers to a very high level, becoming an AKC judge, both nationally and internationally, a founding member of the Mile High Rottweiler Club, and a lifetime member of the Medallion Rottweiler Club and American Rottweiler Club. Dorothea’s was a true icon in the Rottweiler community which she always supported.

She and her late husband were also longtime supporters of the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Dorothea’s made many visits to the elephants, in particular Lucky and Kimba. The Zoo was always a joy for her, and she shared the experience with many of her close friends.

Dorothea and her husband also ran their own business for fifty plus years. She loved to work on her computer, and she barely missed a day logging in to check the news, look at emails, and log into her accounts to pay her bills. Dorothea’s was amazing in her ability to stay on top of technology until the age of 99.

Her husband, William preceded her in death in 2009. She is survived by her brother, Charles Haake of Hudson, Ohio and nephew, William Anton of Austin, Texas. Dorothea also had many devoted and loving caregivers along with many, many close friends who will all miss her dearly.

Interment was at Memorial Park Cemetery, Skokie, Illinois. A Celebration of Life is planned for a future date.

Donations in memory of Dorothea may be made to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Road, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906.

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  1. Dear Dorothea, I miss you and all of our times together going to the German bakery , hair salon, looking at Christmas lights and a drive to see the leaves change color. Rest easy my lady and frolic with your beloved Rottweilers. Joann

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