Cover photo for Charlene Zent's Obituary
Charlene Zent Profile Photo
1934 Charlene 2023

Charlene Zent

June 22, 1934 — November 17, 2023


Charlene Zent, 89, Bismarck, passed away on November 17, 2023 surrounded by her family.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00AM, Wednesday, November 22 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 1919 N 2nd St. Bismarck.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00PM with a rosary/vigil service starting at 7:00PM, Tuesday, November 21 at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck.

Charlene was born in Foreman, ND on June 22, 1934. Her parents were Lloyd and Margaret (Mahrer) Hansen. Charlene was the second child of five children. She was raised on a farm near Foreman where she found her love of rural North Dakota living, which she cherished her whole life. She attended and graduated from Foreman High School.

After high school, she moved to Mandan where she worked for a few years. While there, she met the love of her life, Howard Zent, whom she married. They moved to Wahpeton so he could attend the Wahpeton State School of Science. It was there that their first child, a son Paul, was born. After Howard graduated, they moved to Riverdale, ND where he accepted a job with the US Army Corps of Engineers. A few years later their first daughter, Peggy, was born and seven years after that they had their second daughter, Patti.

Shortly after Pattie's birth, the family moved to Bismarck where Howard accepted a job with the Bureau of Reclamation. After several years Howard, Charlene and Patti moved to Phoenix, AZ where he continued to work for the Dept. of Energy. A few years later they moved back to Bismarck, where he retired from the Bureau. They have resided in Bismarck ever since.

Charlene loved God, her Country, her State and her Community. Her second love was her family. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Her other passions were cooking and baking, which she passed along to her children and grandchildren. She was well known for her caramel rolls and "Charnie Buns." Another passion was living at their cabin, it was considered her second home. They spent many summer weeks at their South Turtle Lake cabin in Minnesota. She cherished the lake life atmosphere and even learned to enjoy fishing. Her thirst for travel extended beyond that of their beloved cabin. Over the years she took many trips, her two favorite vacations were to Hawaii for their 25th Wedding Anniversary and the cruise they took to the Panama Canal. She thoroughly enjoyed a good auction sale especially when she could get "a good bargain.” She also enjoyed rummage sales whether it be going to them or when she held her annual rummage sale in the late summer. Charlene  and Howard took up square dancing which they totally had fun doing. She was a good gardener and enjoyed picking the vegetables when they ripened. It was a surprise to the family that she kept a daily journal. Nothing too in depth, but short comments about events they attended and phone calls she had received.

As stated earlier, Charlene and Howard have three children: son, Paul Howard (Julie) Zent, sons Tyler Paul (Tia) and Trey Thomas; Daughter, Peggy Ann (Dwight) Kuntz and their daughter, Katie (Martin) Whalen; and daughter Patti Katheryn (Dean) Schwartz and their daughter, Becki and son Spencer. They have two great-granddaughters, Tenley Jane Zent and Aoife Rose Whalen.

Charlene had her ways about her, and she wasn't afraid to share her views about any topic. She will be remembered and missed always by her family, her many friends and close neighbors for she truly touched all of us.

May her soul and all the souls of the Faithful Departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in Peace.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charlene Zent, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, November 21, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Parkway Funeral and Cremation Service

2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, ND 58503

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Church of Corpus Christi

1919 N 2nd St, Bismarck, ND 58501

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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