Richard L. "Pat" Ranfranz, 91, died Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013, of respiratory failure at Madonna Towers in Rochester. He had been ill for several weeks prior to his death.
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Pat was born Feb. 28, 1922, in Rochester, to Robert C. and Marie (Stephenson) Ranfranz. He attended Trinity Lutheran School in Rochester, graduated from high school after being discharged from the Army, and graduated from the University of Minnesota, School of Mortuary Science in June 1948. On Dec. 20, 1943, Pat married Eileen P. Sullivan in Hattiesburg, Miss., during a furlough in World War II. They were married 51 years.
As a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army medical department, Pat received the Bronze Star for meritorious service in connection with military operations against the enemy of the United States in Germany during World War II. He took care of the wounded and dead, including those in the Battle of the Bulge. He received his honorable discharge from the Medical Detachment 271st Infantry 69th Division in January 1946.
He joined his father in the family business, Ranfranz Funeral Home, in 1951. He became owner of the funeral home in 1966. To him, it was a great privilege to help families who had lost a loved one. In 1987, he sold the business to son-in-law, Ronald Hodge, yet continued his association with the funeral home. In 1999, he was honored by the Minnesota Department of Health for 50 years as a licensed funeral director.
Pat enjoyed golf and was a 40-year member of the Rochester Golf and Country Club. At the age of 78, he made a hole-in-one on the sixth hole at a Willow Creek golf tournament, and won a car. He was a longtime member of the National and Minnesota Funeral Director's Association and the American Legion William T. McCoy Post 92. He was a lifetime member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Rochester.
He is survived by four children, Michelle (Ronald) Hodge, Pine Island; Robert (Debbie), Rochester; Ann Ranfranz (Jeff Kremers), Milwaukee; and Kathy Ranfranz (Dave Moyer), Rochester. Pat has seven grandchildren: Stephanie Kremers Stuve, Allison Kremers, Corey Ranfranz, Kelsey Ranfranz Fisher, Rachel (Colin) Calvert, Matthew Ranfranz and Luke Ranfranz; and great-grandchildren, Claire Calvert, Teigen and Brody Stuve. Also surviving are his brother-in-law, James "Sully" (JoAnne) Sullivan; and special friend, Marge Kingrey.
He was preceded in death by his wife, parents and brother, Donald "Mike."
Pat was a great father and grandfather. Pat was known to be an extremely generous, kind and giving person. Everyone that met him was blessed.
A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes.
Friends may call at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. prior to the service. Military honors will be provided by Rochester American Legion Post #92. A private, family burial at Oakwood Cemetery will follow.
Memorials preferred to Trinity Lutheran Church, Salvation Army, Paws and Claws or the donor's choice.
Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes, 5421 Royal Place N.W., Rochester, MN 55901, 507-289-3600,
Ranfranz & Vine Funeral Homes & Crematory
5421 Royal Pl Nw
Rochester, MN 55901
Published in The Post-Bulletin on Sept. 16, 2013