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Published February 09, 2014, 12:00 AM

Raymond "Ray" Zent

Mass of Christian Burial for Raymond "Ray" Zent, 75, of Mott, will be Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:00 am at St. Vincent's Catholic Church in Mott. Fr. Charles Zins will officiate and burial will follow at the Sunnyslope Cemetery in Mott. Visitations will be from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday at the Evanson Jensen Funeral Home in Mott and one hour prior to the Mass on Monday morning at the church. A Rosary and Wake service will be on Sunday evening at the Church at 7:00 p.m.

Raymond Francis Zent, the son of Raphael and Mary Renner Zent, was born on May 27, 1938 on his parents' farm in Cedar Butte Township south of Mott. Ray began his elementary education in a single-room school house at Cedar Butte #2 and finished his primary years at Lemmon Public School. Ray attended high school at the Assumption Abbey in Richardton, N.D. and then enrolled at North Dakota Agricultural College in Fargo, N.D. He was a member of the Farm House Fraternity. On May 21, 1961, he graduated from the newly named North Dakota State University of Agriculture and Applied Science with a degree in Agricultural Mechanization. While attending college and for a short time after graduation, Ray worked for John Deere Corporation in Fargo. This was the beginning of his love of John Deere equipment.

Raymond "Ray" Zent

Mass of Christian Burial for Raymond "Ray" Zent, 75, of Mott, will be Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:00 am at St. Vincent's Catholic Church in Mott. Fr. Charles Zins will officiate and burial will follow at the Sunnyslope Cemetery in Mott. Visitations will be from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday at the Evanson Jensen Funeral Home in Mott and one hour prior to the Mass on Monday morning at the church. A Rosary and Wake service will be on Sunday evening at the Church at 7:00 p.m.

Raymond Francis Zent, the son of Raphael and Mary Renner Zent, was born on May 27, 1938 on his parents' farm in Cedar Butte Township south of Mott. Ray began his elementary education in a single-room school house at Cedar Butte #2 and finished his primary years at Lemmon Public School. Ray attended high school at the Assumption Abbey in Richardton, N.D. and then enrolled at North Dakota Agricultural College in Fargo, N.D. He was a member of the Farm House Fraternity. On May 21, 1961, he graduated from the newly named North Dakota State University of Agriculture and Applied Science with a degree in Agricultural Mechanization. While attending college and for a short time after graduation, Ray worked for John Deere Corporation in Fargo. This was the beginning of his love of John Deere equipment.

On June 10, 1961, Ray married Janet Lee Hoerner in Richardton, N.D. Over the next 12 years, they had four daughters. Ray and Janet joined his parents on the family farm and eventually took over the farm. They were very proud of their Hereford cattle and raised championship livestock for their daughters to show for 4-H. In 1971, Ray received an Outstanding Young Farmers award and Outstanding Young North Dakotans award in recognition of exceptional progress in agriculture and contributions to the community. Ray was active in Jaycees, serving as the president of the Mott Jaycees from 1970 to 1971. Ray also served on the school board for the Runkel #3 school district. Despite all their successes on the farm and with their family, Janet was diagnosed with cancer and lost her battle in 1981.

On May 8, 1982, Ray married Marlene Goetz Kramer, and she and her three daughters joined the family. Ray continued to farm until 2006 when he rented his farm and pasture land to his neighbors. Although retirement was the plan, he never slowed down. Ray continued his haying operation, selling most of his hay to Lemmon Livestock. He helped his neighbors, the Huether family, with spring's work and harvest, pulling anhydrous tanks and driving "his" grain cart. One of Ray and Marlene's favorite pastimes was attending and winning antique car shows with his prized '58 Chevy Impala, and he was an active member of the Roughrider Chevrolet Association. Ray easily made friends, be it at car shows or hunting near his farm. They also enjoyed driving to Deadwood where Ray was determined that the establishment would lose money with an all-you-can-eat-crab-leg promotion. Ray also took great pride in being part of the lives of his grandchildren, supporting them in their academics, athletics, and hobbies.

Ray passed away from cancer on February 4, 2014 in his home in Mott, surrounded by family.

Ray is survived by his wife Marlene; four daughters and their spouses, Nadine (Ron) Julson of Galchutt, North Dakota, Brenda Zent of Arlington, Virginia, Stacey (Shane) Hertz of Mott, North Dakota, and Rachel Zent (Kai Handt) of Dallas, Texas; three step daughters, Kim Kramer of Bismarck, North Dakota, Karla Kramer of Flasher, North Dakota, and Kristen Kramer of Bismarck, North Dakota; his grandchildren, Janet and Daniel Julson, both of Galchutt, North Dakota, MacKenzie, Sean, and Morgan Hertz, all of Mott, North Dakota, Geoffrie (Jane) Kramer of Norway, Ashlie and Kendra Bieber of Bismarck, North Dakota, Eleni Kramer of Bismark, North Dakota; and Kenneth Fiskum of St. Cloud, Minnesota; four sisters, Irene Jochim of Cambria, California, Delores (Curt) Chambers of Highlands Ranch, Colorado, Eleanor (Frank) Fortuna of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Marie Dempsey of Dyer, Indiana; and three brothers, Werner (Velma) Zent of Clarks Grove, Minnesota, Arnold (Marilyn) Zent of Rochester, Minnesota, and Curtis (Carol) Zent of Phoenix, Arizona; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Ray was preceded in death by his first wife, Janet, four sisters (Elsie Kuhn, Laura Woeste, Lillian Knevel, and Eunice Zent), and four brothers (Clarence, Ira, Gerald, and Kenneth).

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