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Founder of Godwin Pumps John Paz Dies at Age 76

Sun August 20, 2006 - National Edition
CEG



John Paz, 76, president of Paz Brothers Inc. and the founder of a manufacturer and distributor of portable construction pumps, died Aug. 12, 2006, at his home in Mickelton, NJ, after an extended illness.

Paz was one of the three brothers who founded Paz Brothers Construction in 1956.

Headquartered in Bridgeport, NJ, the company specializes in heavy construction, performing site work including excavation, grading and earthmoving for new development and restoration.

He also was the founder of Godwin Pumps of America Inc., a local manufacturer with head offices in Bridgeport, NJ, and Gloucestershire, UK.

Born March 30, 1930, in Bridgeport, NJ, Paz was one of six children — four boys and two girls — of Polish immigrants Michael and Mary Paz.

Following in their parents’ footsteps, Paz and his brothers showed early signs of strong determination, a keen business sense, and an incredible work ethic. The three sons pooled their money, sought a bank loan, and with their father’s help, bid on their first job.

In 1961, the men incorporated and John became president. Paz Brothers began to develop long-term relationships with key local businesses like Mobil Oil and Monsanto Chemical Co.

Paz helped pioneer the first self-loading scraper that set new standards of earthmoving in heavy construction.

This step allowed Paz Brothers to win the bid for the 1968 reconstruction of the Chesapeake & Delaware Canal, Chesapeake, MD, and in 1970 the approach to the Commodore Barry Bridge spanning the Delaware River between Pennsylvania and New Jersey — two of the most successful projects in the company’s history.

Paz Brothers also owned and developed the Bridgeport Speedway, a 1.5 mi. stockcar racetrack, formed JBT Leasing Corporation, and created the Logan Sand & Gravel Company in Bridgeport, NJ.

Paz’s entrepreneurial spirit never waned. In the mid-’70s on a family vacation to England, he investigated the opportunity to bring a new product to the United States — pumps.

He was renting pumps locally and looked into an automatic, self-priming pump manufactured overseas. As a result, he formed Godwin Pumps of America in 1976.

In 1978, he passed responsibility for the operations to his son, John Michael. John Michael became president in 1978 and remains president and owner today.

The company employs more than 600 people around the world, approximately 200 in southern New Jersey, and earns sales of $165 million.

His parents Michael and Mary Paz, brothers Michael and Theodore, and sister Mary predeceased John. John leaves to cherish his memory his wife Barbara (Dalbow); two daughters Sharon and her husband Gerald Treece of Pennsville, NJ, and Judith C. Paz of Fayetteville, AR; and one son John Michael of Wallingford, PA; two grandsons Gerald W. Treece, Jr. and Jeffery M. Paz; one granddaughter Kelly M. Rosas; two great grandsons Dalton Treece and Connor Rosas; brother Robert Paz; and sister Jessica Paz.

A close friend described Paz as a man of great interests. He was a world traveler, visiting Saudi Arabia, France, Poland, Austria and Romania. He developed business relationships in these countries as well as many life-long friendships. His contagious sense of humor, unique kindness and big heart are the legacies he left to everyone he touched and everyplace he visited. He will be sadly missed by his friends and family.

Family and friends attended funeral services Aug. 18, at Landolfi Funeral Home in Paulsboro, NJ, and Aug. 19 at Clonmell United Methodist Church, in Gibbstown, NJ. Burial was at Eglinton Cemetery in Clarksboro, NJ.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations be made in John’s memory to St. John of God Community Services, 1145 Delsea Dr., Westville, NJ, or your local American Cancer Society. CEG