Ray Zahnow

Ray Zahnow, 94, Minot, passed away Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in a Minot hospital.

Raymond Otto Fredrick Zahnow was born Oct. 13, 1919, in Anamoose. He was the first born child of Alfred and Ella (Kohlman) Zahnow. He was raised and educated in Ryder. As a young adult, he assisted his father with the operation of the family farm near Ryder.

Ray married Leona Lois Peterson on Dec. 9, 1938, in Minot. Together they traveled to the state of Washington, where Ray worked at the mills and for local contractors. In 1944, he moved his family back to North Dakota and made their home in Max.

Ray enlisted in the Army in October 1944. He proudly served his country during World War II, and was stationed overseas. He was honorably discharged in January 1946.

Following his honorable discharge from the Army, he moved back to Max, where he and Leona raised their family. He owned and operated a bar in Max and worked as a construction superintendent until he and his brother, Harley, started their own custom combining company, Zahnow Harvesting, in 1950. At the age of 74, he retired due to severe hearing loss. In 1997, they sold the family home and moved to Minot.

They loved their retirement apartment and living in Minot. Ray belonged to a square dance club, the Eagles Aerie, the Moose Lodge and was an avid member of the Max American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. He was also a member of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Max.

On Ray’s 80th birthday, he received recognition and a flag from the governor of North Dakota. He was also recognized by Governor Dalrymple for his long commitment to North Dakota, his family, and 75 years of marriage in December 2013.

Ray was a loving family man, who valued honesty and commitment to his family, friends and people who worked for him. He enjoyed visiting and teasing his family and many friends, was a hard worker and was devoted to his work.

Ray is gone physically from this world, but his memory will live forever.

His loving family includes: wonderful wife of 75 years, Leona, Minot; children, Lynnette (Bill) Liffrig, Arlington, Wash., Gary (Suzi) Zahnow, Edmonds, Wash., Larry (Karron) Zahnow, Milton, Wash., James (Linda) Zahnow, Edmonds, and Rick Zahnow, Marysville, Wash.; nine grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; brothers, Alvin (Esther) Zahnow, Edmonds, Les (Linda) Zahnow, Mission, Texas, and Alfred (Chris) Zahnow, Mill Creek, Wash.; sisters, Arlene Bold, Snohomish, Wash., Betty (Dick) Mooney, Chandler, Ariz., and Myrna (Ken) Algers, Lynnwood, Wash.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Ray was preceded in death by: his parents; daughters, Denise Moxley and Sharon Zahnow; grandson, Todd Liffrig; brothers, Melvin, Fred, Harley, Vernon and Paul; and sisters, Olga Valentine, Dora Brevick, Vera Siverling, Linda Estes and Donna Zahnow.

Funeral: Thursday, April 17, 10:30 a.m., at Our Savior Lutheran Church, Max.

Interment: Thursday, 3 p.m., at North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, south of Mandan.

Visitation: There will be no reviewal, but friends may sign the register on Thursday, one hour prior to the service at the church.

Memorials: In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Wounded Warrior Project at ( or mail donations to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.

Those wishing to sign the online register and share memories may access the online obituaries section at (