Paul Czaplewski with his son and daughter Ben and Rachel "cut " the ribbon at the open house of their new facility in Dodge Center on Sunday afternoon. From left are Courtney Kispert, Miss Dodge Center; Larry Dobson, CNC Star Herald; Czaplewski staff and family: Bonnie Nelson, Leonard Rollins, Florence Norman, Ben Czaplewski, Paul Czaplewski, Rachael Czaplewski, Jolene Rollins, Barb Nason, Stan Czaplewski; and Carin Minelli, American Family Ins.; and Emily Steffens CNC Star Herald. Photo by Melanie Dobson
by Ruth Hanson
Paul Czaplewski has had the first funeral in his new building on the south edge of Dodge Center "and the family was pleased with the building," he said, smiling.
The 4700 square foot building is the mirror image of one he built, with very few changes, in Hayfield in 2001.
The Dodge Center building has a larger chapel and a larger parking lot. It is entirely handicap accessible - all on one floor.
He started looking for a place to build four or five years ago and came across the present land in August of 2011. He bought it from Dennis Ross. He broke ground in March and the building was finished the end of September.
"I'm glad to be finished," he said. "I'm happy with the way it turned out. We had an open house on Sunday and I heard many nice comments."
There is a selection room with a full selection of caskets and urns. There is a nice, big chapel with seating for 150 and a lounge for the family and guests - a nice, open, welcoming foyer.
"There is elegant, inviting woodwork," he said. "I was anxious to show it to people and the open house was nice."
He said some people identify the location as "the old football field."
Czaplewski has been in funeral service for 25 years.
"You have to have patience with people in tough times to be in this work," he said. "Everything else falls in place. This job isn't for you if you don't have patience. I never know from one day to the next what I'm going to be dealing with."
He came to Dodge Center in 1995 and bought the funeral homes in Dodge Center, Hayfield and Brownsdale from Dave Vernon.