Outstanding service is our #1 priority

Get to know the Ranfranz and Vine staff, dedicated to helping families celebrate a life lived. We provide peace of mind, available 24/7 for your convenience.

Paul Czaplewski

Funeral Director, Owner

I am proud to have been born and raised in Rochester.  After graduating from Lourdes High School in 1984, I graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1988.  It was then that I began my career in funeral service.  Today, after 28 years of being a Funeral Director I continue to strive to meet each family’s unique needs during their journey through grief.  I purchased Ranfranz and Vine in 2001 to honor its rich history in providing quality service to families in our community.

Above all my greatest accomplishments are my children, Rachel, and Ben.  They too, are pursuing careers in fields that work in supporting families.  Rachel is becoming an RN and Ben is a second generation funeral director.  I am blessed to have watched them grow into amazing adults and so proud to be their dad. I’m also a grandfather to a beautiful grandson, Lincoln, whom Teresa and I love to spend time with.

Outside of the office I enjoy golfing, boating, traveling, and cheering on the MN Wild and MN Twins.  I also value supporting the community in which we live in.  I am a member of MN Funeral Directors Association, National Funeral Directors Association and a certified crematory operator.

We are appreciative of the trust you have in us to care for your loved ones.  It is a priority for us to provide personalized and meaningful services that celebrate the life of those who will forever live in your hearts.

Michael Gostonczik

Funeral Director, Owner

I was born in Mankato, grew up and graduated from high school in Osage, Iowa.  I received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology from the University of Iowa in Iowa City and graduated with an Associate Degree in Mortuary Science from Mid-American College in 1989.  I have been a funeral director for 27 years serving in Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota.  In 2005, I began working at Ranfranz and Vine and in 2008 became co-owner.  My wife, Michelle and I have two sons, Jacob and Ryan.  We currently reside in Plainview where we are members of St. Joachin Catholic Church.  I enjoy fishing, pheasant hunting, attending my son’s activities, and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes.  I am a member of the MN Funeral Directors Association and the National Funeral Directors Association.

Ben Czaplewski

Funeral Director

Since I can remember, I have watched my dad’s passion for funeral service. It was his passion that fueled my own desire to be a funeral director. I grew up in Hayfield, MN helping my dad at Czaplewski Family Funeral Homes. I graduated from the University of Minnesota  in 2019 majoring in Mortuary Science and am honored to carry on our family tradition working at Czaplewski Family Funeral Homes as well as Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home.



Teresa Czaplewski

Director of Public Relations

Teresa was born and raised in Rochester and will forever call it “home”. She is proud to be married to Paul and of our blended family, Rachel, Justin, Ben, and Joey, and most recently a beautiful grandson, Lincoln . After becoming involved in funeral service, she discovered a passion for working with families throughout their difficult journey of navigating through grief. Teresa values family and honoring

those we love with dignity, respect, and recognizing that we each have a “story” that is meant to be shared.

At home, she enjoys volunteering for local nonprofits, representing her community as a Rochester Area

Chamber Ambassador, and spending time with family and friends.


Jeff Cink

Funeral Home Director/ General Manager

Jeff is originally from Algona, IA, but has made his home in Byron, MN with his wife Jacki. In 1990, he graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Chicago, IL and began his career serving families during one of life’s most difficult times. Jeff and Jacki have two wonderful adult daughters, Lauren and Claire, whom they enjoy spending relaxing summer days with at their family’s cabin. Jeff’s passion for his work and value of family, is a testament of his life’s calling.


Debra Kubista

Funeral Director

Debra graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1988 with a Bachelor Science degree in Mortuary Science. She has worked as a funeral director in Fairmont, Minnesota, Fort Walton Beach, Florida and Owatonna, Minnesota. She began her employment at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Home in November of 2017. Debra resides in Owatonna with her husband, Terry. Together they have 4 grown children and 2 grandchildren. She enjoys traveling, attending music festivals and sporting events. Debra is a member of the Owatonna Business Women, AAUW, and attends Sacred Heart Catholic Church. She is also a member of Minnesota Funeral Directors Association, National Funeral Directors Association, and is a Certified Crematory Operator.


Joe Hedquist

Funeral Director

Joe grew up in Wabasha, MN. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science. He worked in St. Paul and Albert Lea before moving to Rochester to be closer to family. Joe, his wife Mallory and their dog Skol look forward to exploring the Rochester city parks and trails. Joe and Mallory are members of Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Joe enjoys spending time with family and friends, fishing, hiking and anything to do with golf. He looks forward to serving Rochester and the surrounding communities.


Destiny Lilly

Funeral Director

Destiny grew up in Stewartville, MN and earned her degree in Mortuary Science through Des Moines Area Community College. Destiny and her fiancé, Payton reside in Stewartville with their children, Henley and Haisley; as well as their dog, Oakley. Destiny enjoys spending time with her family, shopping and being outdoors (as long as it’s warm!) She looks forward to growing in her career and helping families navigate through their hardest times.


Brian Poch

Prearrangement Specialist

I’ve experienced many changes in Rochester being born and raised here.  I am a 1983 graduate of Mayo High School and have pretty much lived in Rochester all my life.  I can honestly say I’ve lived in every quadrant of Rochester and I remember the great flood of 78!  I have enjoyed the business sales culture of Rochester for many years and now I am a proud to be a part of the Ranfanz & Vine Funeral Home / Czaplewski Funeral Home team.  The term “prearrangement specialist” seems so simple compared to the incredible life rewards I receive doing this job.  The individuals and families I work with bring joy into everyday!  It is an honor to help people through this journey of life.

In addition to my position with the funeral home, I also serve as Organist/Choir Director at Trinity Lutheran Church in Rochester.  Most Sundays and Wednesday nights are spent at the church.  It’s amazing how these two positions intertwine.  On weekends, free time and vacation time, I enjoy all the kid’s activities and time up north.  My wife Alison and I have 3 kids, Abigail, Amelia and Andrew. I am honored to be a part of this great team and look forward to working with your family!


Kaitlyn Joseph

Prearrangement Specialist

Kaitlyn grew up and is currently residing in Byron, MN. She is licensed in Minnesota and assists families with pre-arranging and pre-funding their funerals with Ranfranz & Vine and Czaplewski Family Funeral Homes. She is also our secretary at our Kasson Funeral Home. She enjoys spending time with her family and her 4 dogs.


Louie Bortolon

Funeral Assistant

Louie originally hails from the East Coast and is a 1967 graduate of Rochester Junior College; while living and working at the original Vine Funeral Home.  He is a 1969 graduate of the University of Minnesota, College of Mortuary Science, with a four year Bachelors Degree.  Serving his Internship in Columbia Heights, he returned to Rochester and the three generation Vine Funeral Home firm, and worked most of his entire career; having celebrated 51 years of Funeral Service in his community.  He is involved in several civic, service and professional organizations as well as Bethel Lutheran Church.  Louie’s wife, Marian is retired from Mayo Clinic as a Medical Secretary; who he first met on the old U of M Memorial Stadium practice field back then.  Louie says, “we’re both enjoying this phase of our experiences in serving our community of Rochester and I’m happy to not be married to the phone anymore… With kindest personal regards and to the many families that I’ve had the privilege to service through my career.  Peace be with you and yours”.


Larry Briske

Funeral Assistant

Larry grew up in the Rochester area.  He graduated with his BA in Business from Winona State University in 1974. He was an Airman in the United States Air Force, Police Officer for the city of Rochester, Facilities Manager for a local savings and loan company and Sales Representative for Rochester Brick.  Larry is married and has two daughters, and five grandchildren.  He enjoys woodworking and bicycling.  He is a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Byron and volunteers to help the homeless via “Family Promise Rochester”.


Stan Czaplewski

Funeral Assistant

Stan has been working as a funeral assistant since 1994 and enjoys working on a part time basis.  Stan graduated from Winona High School.  Stan and his wife, Jan, live in Rochester.  He has two sons, Paul and Pete, three step children, Joey, Karrie and Bobbie, ten grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.  Stan enjoys golfing, he got a hole in one at Hayfield Golf Course in May of 1997 and was Club Champion that year.  He was Senior Champion in 2004, 2007 and 2009.  Stan also enjoys bowling, pickle ball, traveling and spending time with his family.  He retired from IBM after 32 years of employment and was President of the IBM Club in 1972.  Stan is a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Rochester.


Verdale Gaustad

Funeral Assistant

Verdale is a native of Houston, Mn. He graduated from Houston High School  and Winona Vocational Technical School. Joined the Navy during the start of the Viet Nam conflict.
He and his wife Marcia reside in Rochester, Mn. Together they have two daughters and one son. Six grandchildren. He enjoys golf, traveling, following the Vikings, Twins, and Nascar. And attending his grandboys sport activities. Verdale retired from UPS after 31 years as a driver. He has been a part time funeral assistant for about seven years. He is active in the VFW, Legion, and the Eagles. He is a member of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.


Steve Grabau

Funeral Assistant

Steve has been married to his wife, Cathy, for 30 years.  Together they have four children and seven grandchildren.  Steve enjoys spending time with family and friends, yard work, boating, fishing, playing cribbage and going to Florida for part of the winter.  Steve retired from the Mayo Clinic after a 44 year career and is a Veteran of the U.S. Army.  He is a long time member of Zumbro Lutheran Church.


Eileen Berg

Funeral Assistant

Eileen is an Iowa girl who grew up with six siblings and has an identical twin.  She attended Cosmetology School and worked for 47 years, owing her own salon for 23 years before selling and retiring.  Eileen and her husband, Erv, have been married for 50 years.  They have two daughters and two granddaughters.  She loves to travel and play golf (and then some more golf), she has two hole in ones.  Eileen has been a member of Resurrection Catholic Church for 40 years.


Tom Coggins

Funeral Assistant

Tom graduated from John Marshall High School in Rochester. He is a veteran of the U.S. Navy.  Tom has one son and one daughter.  When Tom has some free time he enjoys going fishing.  He worked as a Surgery Assistant for the Mayo Clinic for 41 years.  Tom is a member of the Rochester American Legion where he helps provide Military Honors.  He is also on the Executive Board at the American Legion.  Tom is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Rochester.


Paul Sutton

Funeral Assistant

Paul grew up in Byron and attended school there and also Lourdes High School in Rochester. He was in the Navy for four years and served one year in Vietnam on a river patrol boat on the Mekong Delta. He worked in commercial construction as a carpenter and project superintendent for Benike Construction Co. He is married and has two sons, and five grandchildren. He is active in the Catholic Church, and volunteers at St. James Coffee and as a faith formation teacher at the Catholic Church in Dodge Center and communion distributor at St. Mary’s Hospital.


Mark Schwartz

Funeral Assistant

Mark served South Zumbro Lutheran Church in rural Kasson for 26 1/5 years, retiring in 2017. He also has served in White Bear Lake, Cloquet MN and Wallace MI. He is married to Anne and they have three sons; Samuel, Luke and Peter.


Jim Bahler

Funeral Assistant

Jim retired from the plumbing wholesale business in 2018. He started as a funeral assistant in February 2019. He has been married to his wife Cindy for 42 years and has 2 children and 2 great grand-children. He enjoys playing the organ at Bethel Lutheran Church where he and Cindy have been members for 41 years. Jim is also an avid Packers Fan.


Karen Buelt

Funeral Assistant

Karen grew up on a farm outside of Waltham, MN, and graduated from Hayfield High School in 1980. From there she attended St. Mary’s Jr College, now St. Catherine University, Minneapolis Campus, with an A.A.S. degree in Health Information Management.

Karen recently retired from the BOP, Federal Medical Center, in Rochester, MN, as a Medical Records Administrator Specialist after working there for 28 years. Karen and her significant other of 26 years, Ken Shokes, have a daughter, son, and one grandchild. She enjoys family and friends get togethers, physical activity, comedy and music. Karen started with Ranfranz and Vine in 2018 as a funeral assistant. She understands the needs of people going through a difficult time and feels grateful to be able to assist others.



Care, Commitment, and Compassion. Our funeral directors are here for you 24/7.