Cover photo for OLIVER JOHN ZENTZ's Obituary
OLIVER JOHN ZENTZ Profile Photo
1919 Oliver 2013

OLIVER JOHN ZENTZ

May 24, 1919 — May 24, 2013

OLIVER J. ZENTZ Oliver John Zentz, resident of Binford, ND passed away Friday, May 24, 2013 in the Cooperstown Medical Center Hospital on his 94th birthday. Oliver was born to Harry and Alma (Johnson) Zentz on May 24, 1919 in Helena Township, ND. He was the oldest of four boys. He attended elementary schools in Griggs County and was confirmed at Ottawa Lutheran Church. He enlisted in the Army in 1942. He served most of his enlistment in the Pacific Theatre. His unit served in the Mariana Islands and throughout the Philippines. He was a radio communications specialist in the 129th Combat Infantry Division. He was awarded a Bronze Star, and was granted an honorable discharge at the conclusion of World War II in 1945. Oliver married Violet Mary Johnson on March 13, 1946. They farmed near Aneta until they purchased their farm in rural Binford in 1953. While farming is non-stop work, Oliver went above and beyond. He took correspondence courses from the National Radio Institute and taught himself the business of radio and television repair. He was also a rural mail carrier. In 1967 they purchased a liquor store in Binford that they renamed the O.Z. Bar. They operated this business for many years. Oliver's warm and outgoing personality endeared him to everyone. He was an active member of both the American Legion Jonas Helland Post #111 and the Knights of Pythius Fraternal Lodge for more than 50 years. Oliver attained the title of Supreme Grand Chancellor in the KPs and attended several state and national conventions. He supported the community through many endeavors, including the rodeo association and the Senior Citizens of Binford. Very few individuals can handle all these responsibilities and raise six children simultaneously as Oliver and Violet did. But still they made time for family and fun. Oliver taught himself to play the accordion, piano, and guitar. All the kids and grandkids loved the Bunny Hop. His skill at cards was amazing, much to his opponents’ dismay. He loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter and fisherman. He raised and trained AKC registered weimeraners to be excellent hunting and retrieving dogs. Reading, dancing, bowling, softball, going to auction sales, and following the Minnesota Twins were some of his favorite pastimes. Many cross-country road trips were spent visiting family. He also traveled to Canada, Hawaii, and Germany. Oliver and his family have been members of the West Prairie Lutheran Church. Oliver will be greatly missed. He was our hero, our rock to lean on, the one we looked up to, and he was our sunshine. Oliver is survived by his wife of 67 years, Violet Zentz, one son, and five daughters: Marlene (Dennis) Dahl, Bismarck ND, Michael, Binford ND, Mavis (Douglas) Brown, Lacey WA, Mary Zentz, Lake Placid, FL, Margery (David) Johnston, Colorado Springs CO, Michelle Zentz and Larry Anderson, Fargo ND. Nine grandchildren, twelve great grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren: Jeff (Ginger) Dahl - Haley Dahl and Joey Metzel; Stephanie Dahl (Joel) Honeyman - Grant, Jackson, and Mckinley; Marcia Brown (Philip) Zitzelman - Philip and Matthew; Katherine Johnston (Stephen) Harris - Alexandra, Lila, Jessica, Stephen Jr (Stephen, Brandon); Jennifer Kaylene Walden Zentz; Daniel Brown; Melissa Johnston - Katelynn, Zachary R., and Nicholas. Also survived by beloved nephews and nieces Gary, Rodney, Judy, Phyllis, Janet, Donna, Vicki, Ricky, Nicki, Mickey and Dickie (Zentz family); Maureen, Jana, Peggy (Edwardson family); Patrick, Michael, Thomas, Mary Ann, and Linda (Johnson family). Preceded in death by parents Harry and Alma; brothers Harold, Lester, and Maynard Zentz; brother-in-law Oliver Johnson; sisters-in law Dorothy Zentz and Marion (Elmer) Edwardson; nephews James H. Johnson and Leslie D. Zentz; niece Cindy Edwardson Lysholm; grandson Douglas LeRoy Brown Jr.; great great grandson Isaiah Harris. Funeral services will be Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11:00 am in the West Prairie Lutheran Church, rural Binford, ND. Visitation will be Wednesday, May 29, 2013 from 5:00 till 7:00 in the Quam-Plaisted-Cushman Funeral Home and one hour before services in the Church. Interment will be in the West Prairie Cemetery, Jessie, ND.
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