Cover photo for Janet Marie Braaten-Zentz's Obituary
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1944 Janet 2022

Janet Marie Braaten-Zentz

September 19, 1944 — March 10, 2022

Janet “Jan” Marie Braaten-Zentz of Park Rapids, Minnesota September 19th, 1944 - March 10th 2022 Jan Marie Braaten-Zentz, aged 77, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by loved ones on March 10th, 2022. Jan was born in Winfield, Kansas to Lynne Cannon and Venita “June” Cannon on September 19th, 1944. Her family moved to Iowa and lived on the family farm. They eventually moved to Austin, Minnesota; Jackson, Minnesota, and Pine City, Minnesota. Jan graduated from Pine City High School in 1962 and moved to the Twin Cities. Keeping with her generous spirit, Jan chose to walk to work rather than ride the bus. In doing so, Jan saved 50 cents every day, eventually saving up enough to buy her brothers, Del and Al, a bicycle. Jan was blessed with two beautiful daughters JoDee and Jill, from her first marriage. They made their home in Princeton, Minnesota. Jan drove a school bus, worked in real estate, and made wedding cakes on the side. Jan met Gerald “Jerry” Braaten and they married July 19th, 1980, and moved to Onamia, Minnesota. Jan and Jerry were together for eighteen years until Jerry passed. Here, Jan pursued her great love for baking by owning and managing her own bakery and catering service. One of Jan’s best recipes was a patented spice bread which was featured at the Taste of Minnesota at the state capital. Jan's largest customer was the Grand Casino Mille Lacs. Jan loved her grandchildren and enjoyed spending time with them. Some of their favorite activities were playing cards and shopping. Jan’s love of children led her to become a foster parent to over thirty children. In her free time, Jan loved arts and crafts. Jan was blessed with the talent to make flower arrangements, quilts, doll clothes, and a variety of crafts. Jan loved having flower and vegetable gardens and then canning the bounty they produced. With her giving heart, Jan gave most of her delightful creations away to anyone who desired them. Jan also adored shopping and frequently thought of other people as she picked up things, eventually gifting most of the treasures she found. Jan married John Zentz on March 7th, 2014. John brought with him four daughters, two sons, nineteen grandchildren, thirty-one great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren. They made their home in Park Rapids, Minnesota, and traveled to many places, enjoying their twilight years together. Jan will be lovingly remembered by her daughter, JoDee (Rick) Ales of Stillwater, Minnesota; her husband, John Zentz of Park Rapids, Minnesota; Step-daughter, Tanja Zentz of Park Rapids, Minnesota; seven grandchildren: Jordan, Alex, Taylor, Kalvin, Remington, Isaac, and Cassie; great-grand-daughter, Aria; siblings, Helen Wing of Texas and Del (Mary) Cannon of Park Rapids, Minnesota; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and close friends. Jan was preceded in death by her parents Lynne and June Cannon; her daughter, Jill Norris; her husband, Jerry Braaten; sisters Lynda Roberds and Terri O’Brien, and her brother Al Cannon.
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