Wilhelmina “Minnie” Zent

July 17 1926 – September 3, 2015

Minnie ZentMinnie was born in Bluegrass, North Dakota on July 17, 1926, to Otillia (Nee. Hellman) and Florian Hoff. She was raised in Flasher, North Dakota with her five siblings Joseph, John, Anne, Eva and Adam. Minnie married Raphael J Zent on December 31, 1946. They had four children, Lawrence Zent, Eileen R. Hardin (Nee. Zent), Daniel Joseph Zent and Floyd John Zent.
Minnie and Raphael lived in North Dakota until embarking on an adventure with Raphael’s family to find work. They landed in Seattle where they resided in the Greenwood/Ballard area.
After many years of raising her children, she went to work in the laundry of the Ballard Convalescence Center, where she worked until retirement.
Minnie was instantly loved by all that she met, and always had a twinkle in her eyes. She was known to everyone as “Nana”, and seemed to adopt all who were willing to accept her love. She was a true nurturer, and would lend a hand to anyone who needed one. Minnie also helped to raise her friend’s daughter loving her as her own. She loved purely, never looking for what she would get, but rather what she could give. She was beautiful, just as much outwardly as she was within. She loved children, so much that she also took part in raising not just her grandchildren but some of her great grandchildren as well, mainly Isaac Johnson, Taurean Andersen, and Cecelia Andersen. She loved to go for walks with them and to “snoop” around the local stores.
Minnie and Raphael moved across Lake Washington to the Eastside to be closer to Eileen. After Raphael passed away in 2003, Minnie decided to partner and purchased a home with her daughter and her son-in-law Michael. She was very proud of her new home. Shortly after moving in to her home, Eileen and Michael decided to foster and adopt 3 children, whom Minnie adored. A few years after that Minnie picked up a virus and developed pneumonia, while in the hospital it was discovered that she had congestive heart failure. This was the time our little Nana had to learn to live with many challenging health issues such as Diabetes, COPD, Asthma and CHF. Despite these challenges she still wanted all the children around her and insisted on doing the laundry. Minnie loved the Lord and enjoyed attending Mass as often as she could. She was also an avid reader, completing a good book (and some not so good) in just a few days.
Minnie was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Joe and his wife Margaret, brother John and his wife Eleanor, sister Eva Schaff, brother Adam Hoff and brother –in-law, Leander Zins. She was also preceded in death by her son Daniel, great-grandson Corday, husband Raphael J Zent, daughter-in-law Margaret (Ann) Zent, great granddaughter Sydney Grace and her son Lawrence (Larry).
Minnie is survived by her son Floyd Zent, and daughter Eileen Hardin (son-in-law Michael) Grandchildren: Sarah Hardin Johnson, Sandra Zent Fisher, Shannon Hardin Andersen, Michael Hardin Jr., Carol Zent Warrick, Milo Hardin, Lydia Hardin Claxton, Amber Zent, Christopher Zent, Jacob Hardin, Katrina Hardin, Noah Hardin.
Great Grandchildren: Isaac Johnson, Taurean Andersen, Micah Johnson, Shawntel Peterson, Taylor Slattum, Alex Warrick, Cecelia Andersen, Leon Johnson III, Gabriel Johnson, Ezra Davis, Naomi Davis, Cameron Warrick, Josephine Davis, Tanya Warrick, Clayton Durbin Claxton, Mateus Claxton, Dylan Hardin, Madison Hardin and Lucy Rose Hardin.
Minnie passed peacefully at home surrounded by family and holding the hand of her niece Evelyn Miller. Many Nieces, Nephews and God Children will also mourn the loss of this beautiful gentle woman who only knew love.
FB_IMG_1441739915566Minnie, Mother, Nana, Godmother, Friend it doesn’t matter the title you used she will be deeply missed by all.


A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Jude Catholic Church in Redmond Washington on Saturday September 19th at 10:30 am.

11 Responses to “Wilhelmina “Minnie” Zent”

  • Shannon Andersen says:

    My Dearest Nana,

    OH My, how my heart aches for you…I miss you tremendously and life will never quite be the same…you were always my best friend, the safe one that I could count on loving me no matter what I was going through, or what I was lacking…you were there….you were there to help me with anything, help me raise and provide for my babies as a young single mom, you were there when I was sad, to wipe my tears, you were there to lend a hand, and to help me when I didn’t have a dime. You never judged me. I know I told you many times, but let me say once more, I want to be just like you…you were my constant friend and companion…and I will honor your spirit all of my days. I love you Nanny, please kiss my baby Sydney Grace for me, and kiss Grandpa for me too….Ich Liebe Dich!

  • Leah Zins says:

    My deepest condolences to all of Aunt Minnie’s family. She truely left a legacy of love.

  • Michael Hardin says:

    Will miss you Minnie. You never judged and always accepted. You were the most forgiving person I have known. Never asked for much and always grateful for what you were given. Though you suffered sorrow, you never laid blame. As I have witnessed the outpouring of love at your passing, I have been touched, not only by the depth of the love by your children, grandchildren, and great grand children, but by their friends who knew you and who’s lives you had touched. It is said that the only real legacy we leave is the lives we touched. Well done Minnie, well done.

  • Nancy Miller says:

    So sorry for the loss of your mom, grandma and friend. She will be missed…love from the Miller Family

  • Milo Hardin says:

    Nana, what a name. I have heard this name since being welcomed and loved by this great woman over 30 years ago but it has always made me think of our Nana. Thank you for what you have possessed in your heart and soul for all of those that have been so blessed to know you. Thank you for being a wonderful mother to our mother. Thank you for all your love and care of the children in our family. Thank you for loving me, my wife and my children. I can’t wait to see you again for a tight hug and a warm piece of zucchini bread. I hope we all make you proud, and that we are able to carry out your legacy of love.

  • Casey Hardin says:

    Nana. I was blessed to know you for a short while, and what a blessing it was. Your quiet and gentle spirit and wonderful smile greeted me always, and I am so thankful to have known you. Your hugs and love will be missed by so many. I will forever remember your sweet presence and kindness to everyone. I know you are smiling down from an honored place in Heaven.

  • Sarah R. Johnson says:

    From the time I was a little girl, I always worried about this day. I could not imagine even for a second, living in a world without her in it. She was been more than a grandparent, she was a NANA. This is something all together different. I always said I would be Nana for my grandchildren one day, but I just don’t know if I could live up to the legacy she has left. She is the only person I have EVER met who was loved universally by every single soul she met. She also loved everyone, saw the good in everyone, and was quick to forgive everyone. All areas I struggle in, perhaps that is why she was larger than life to me.

    She has been gone for over a week. I still haven’t cried, not the way I need to, or the way she deserves to be grieved. I can’t. I think if I do, I will finally have to face that she is really gone. I just can’t do that yet.

    I love you Nana and I will miss you every day for the rest of my life.

  • Dave Jager says:

    My deepest condolences to all of the Family. My thoughts and prayers to you all. It was an honor to have known this Saintly and gentle woman. As I have read from those that were the closest to her she has left an amazing legacy of love that we can all strive for in our own lives.She has moved the needle so to speak in many many lives and left this world a better place for having lived . What a great gift to leave . Like Sarah said she was universally loved by everyone she met…because she gave it so freely to all she encountered.I also would like to thank her for her part in the formation of my Daughter Sarah’s and her Mother Eileen’s generous spirits…Students of a great teacher.

  • Michael "Mikey" Hardin Jr. says:

    I love you Nana… Simply put, you’re an amazing woman! Your ability to give (so selflessly) love and acceptance is unmatched. From the first day I can remember meeting you I learned how important a Nana’s love is. I will miss you Nana, I’m saddened that you’re no longer here… As we talked, on our last walk I will do my best to show others the love and acceptance you showed all of us.

  • Cindee stephens says:

    My dear sweet Minnie mom ,thank you so much for watching me and loving me like one of your own , you will be deeply missed by so many and your compassion for chirldren lives on in the others you have raised .may you rest in peace and love you ,cindee

  • Joe Figgins says:

    Minnie was my baby sitter from 1969-1971, I knew all the Zent family. Danny was my best buddy, and I will never forget his passing. My prayers to the Zent family, I loved Minnie, she made me feel safe.

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